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July 15, 2012

Jeev Milkha Singh


MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Jeev, many thanks for joining us and many congratulations, Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Champion.テつ How does that sound?テつ Sound all right, doesn't it?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ Sounds great.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Strange, finishing an hour early and then having to go to a playoff.
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ I think I never expected myself to be in a playoff.テつ The golfing gods have been very kind to me.テつ I was just enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake.テつ I said, it's an hour I've got, my flight is at 8.30 out of Aberdeen.テつ I thought I would see the finish and then leave for the airport.
As the chocolate cake and tea were going down, I think it got very exciting on the golf course and I was fortunate to get into a playoff.テつ Left myself a good birdie chance, and the last hole that I had, the putt was like when I was playing the fourth round, I said, you left it short, but this one, don't, give yourself a chance.テつ I hit a good putt, and it went in.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Obviously the rewards are massive but you're obviously in The Open next week.
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ It's the icing on the cake.テつ I think the chocolate cake was fantastic.テつ I think I have to have it every single time I finish my found, and a cup of tea (laughing).
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Sweetest cake you've ever had.

Q.テつ I just wondered what your plans were?テつ You said you were flying out of Aberdeen.テつ What are you going to be doing this week?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: テつI will just go home.テつ I've got a place in London.テつ After that I was going to take a flight back to India tomorrow and spend time with the family.テつ But like I said, things changed after I got into a playoff and knew that I was going to be inテつ The Open Championship.テつ So I had to call up my management company, called up Ian Garbutt and told him and Martin that I think I'm inテつ The Open Championship and I think I need accommodation for next week.
Then went out for the playoff, and was fortunate enough to win that.

Q.テつ When you saw Marc Warren three shots clear, did you think that was it, it's all over?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ Yeah, that's what I thought.テつ I think I left myself a few shots short of getting into a playoff.テつ But like I said, I think the golfing gods were kind to me and I got into a playoff and I won it.

Q.テつ A 67 is a fantastic score in the conditions you played in today; do you consider yourself to be a good wind player?テつ And can you keep this form going next week at Lytham?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ Growing up in India, I never played in links golf and wind.テつ But playing on The European Tour, I've used to it and I changed my game to be a wind player.テつ I like playing in the wind and I like links golfer because it requires a lot of imagination and feel.テつ So I'm looking forward to The Open Championship.テつ Obviously I'm hoping that I can take this form forward next week.テつ It's given me a lot of confidence.テつ I've won after I think three years, or four years, I don't remember.テつ I think three or four years.テつ But I'm really feeling good with my game right now; I have since The Irish Open.
The main thing is that I'm injury free and it's given me a lot of confidence, and I think this win has come at the right time.テつ I think just before The Open championship, so I'm looking forward to that.

Q.テつ It's been a while since you've won, so can you tell now where this ranks among your wins?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ I think it's one of the best ones, especially home of golf, on a links course, and in tough conditions, especially today.テつ The first tee, obviously everybody is going low.
Today was a true test of golf, and I think bogey‑free on a tough day on a links course gives you a lot of confidence and makes you feel good about yourself.テつ And also, going out there against the top players and winning in a playoff, I think makes me feel like that I can win with the best of them and also do well inテつ The Open Championship.

Q.テつ Was there a turning point in your final round?テつ Was there something that clicked and you got on a roll?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ I'll tell you how different the golf course played today.テつ I've been hitting a driver or a 3‑wood and a sand wedge on the first hole.テつ Today, I hit a driver and a 3‑iron on the first hole.テつ So I hit it to about two feet.テつ And I birdied it.テつ I said, man, that was a fantastic birdie, so that gave me a jump start.
Then I birdied the third.テつ I was 4‑under after six holes, so I had a great start.テつ You shoot 4‑under the front nine, try to shoot 4‑under the back nine, you have a good chance at it.
But I was three short of my goal.テつ I wanted to get to about 20‑under.テつ But like I said, the golfing gods were kind to me.テつ I got into an opportunity to get into a playoff, and I won it.

Q.テつ What was the reaction at home when you were given the Padma Shri?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ I think they will be very excited and it's a very proud moment for my country and myself and my family.
I just feel that that's the highest award you can get, and there is a lot of reward higher than the one I got.テつ If I get that, that would be fantastic.
But it was a very proud moment for my father and myself when we were knighted.テつ I was knighted 50 years after my father's knighthood.テつ I'm a very fortunate man to be born into a family like, that and golf has given me a lot, and hopefully this gives a boost to Indian golf and we have more tournaments there.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the rise of golf in India and in ladies golf, with players such as Sharmila Nicollet?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ Yeah, she's qualified on The European Tour.テつ She's an excellent player.テつ She's going to do really well.テつ And I think in the future, it's going to grow.テつ I would rank golf as the No.2 sport in my country; cricket being the No. 1.テつ We can't compare ourselves to cricket, but the way players are doing well worldwide, I think golf is No.2, and it is going to grow in the future.
MICHAEL GIBBONS:テつ Jeev, many congratulations again.
JEEV MILKHA SINGH:テつ Thank you.テつ And I also would like to thank all of my sponsors for standing by me.テつ I've gone through a tough time with the injuries and I would like to thank them all for being with me.

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