Re: Lets take a break from Tennis and talk about Golf
India’s ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh's fortune is not going with his way these days as once again he came agonisingly close to winning a title but lost in a deciding playoffs to Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell after a neck-to-neck tussle in the final round of the Ballantine’s Championship at the Pinx Golf Club in Jeju Island, South Korea on last Sunday.
Jeev (68, 66, 64, 66) and McDowell (68, 64, 66, 66) were involved in a playoff as both ended the regulation 18 holes in the final round with totals of twenty-four under 264. The two professionals also fired the best rounds (66) of the final day along with Englishman Zane Scotland.
The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) member thus had to consent with his second runners-up finish of the year. His previous runners-up finish this season came at the Indonesia Open. PGTI member Jyoti Randhawa was the next best Indian at tied 11th.
Even though Jeev did not win, his top-notch performance at the Pinx Golf Club has helped him climb to sixth position on the European Tour Order of Merit. Jeev was 40th on the European Tour Order of Merit prior to the start of Ballantine’s Championship.
He has also climbed from seventh to second on the UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit. Besides his two runners-up finish this year, Jeev has also registered two other top 20s. He was tied 11th at the Johnnie Walker Classic in India and tied 19th at the Dubai Desert Classic. Jeev is now certain to make a leap in the world rankings as well.
In fact, Jeev was a stroke ahead after 16 holes but then bogeyed the 17th to make it all square. On the 17th, Jeev chipped out from the rough and made a two-putt. The Chandigarh golfer then saved par on the 18th by converting a crucial seven feet putt and as a result ensured a playoff between himself and McDowell who also made par on the 18th.
The playoff that teed-off on the par four 18th was a nerve wrecking affair. Both Singh and McDowell parred the first playoff hole. On the second playoff hole (18th), Singh looked down and out as McDowell’s approach shot landed on the fringe of the green to the right side while his own second shot landed in the bunker to the right of the green.
However, both players once again made par when McDowell two-putted and Singh chipped out and made a brave 15 feet putt. The third playoff hole (18th) proved to be decisive. After both players found the fairway, Singh hit a magnificent approach that stopped six feet short of the pin.
McDowell soaked the pressure to hit an even better shot that landed just two feet short of the hole. McDowell sealed the title when Jeev missed his six feet putt and made par while he holed his short putt for birdie.
Jeev’s finish in Korea was reminiscent of his last runners-up finish at the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open in February where he had missed a three and a half feet par putt on the closing hole that handed Chile’s Felipe Aguilar the title.