New Delhi: Out of action due to a finger ligament tear, ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh is desperate to be back in action and said he would rather play through an injury and chase his dream of winning a Major and representing India in 2016 Olympics than staying away from the game.
Jeev had injured his right index finger during his Scottish Open win in July and hurt it again while playing the Pro-Am event during the Singapore Open, which forced him to lie low for a while. The 41-year-old from Chandigarh has also decided to skip the Hong Kong Open and Thailand Golf Championship next month because of the injury but is planning to play four more events, ending with Shubhkamna Championship which he would be hosting in Noida Golf Club next month.
"My doctor has told me in future if you keep playing then the ligament will go and the bone will start protruding. I said fine, I have 10 years more in this game and I want to make use of it," Jeev said on the sidelines of the launch of the Shubhkamna Championship. "I know I am taking a risk but you work hard for these tournaments like Race to Dubai, Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, so you think when you have worked hard, you should play. I will also play Royals Trophy and then the Shubhkamna champions ie, my tournament," he added.
Jeev feels longevity of golfers have increased now and he wants to keep himself fit to play in 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janerio and also win a Major in the next 10 years of his career. "The longevity is also increasing because people now understand and work hard on themselves and stay fit. My father represented India at the Olympics and I also want to do that.
I have seen Jack and Greg have done so well after turning 50 and I am hoping to do it too. I do yoga, training and go to the gym, it is part of the thing," he said. "I think I have 10 years of golf in me. Injuries is a part of a sportsman life, you have to live with it, you can't be down with that, it is not gonna help you. One of the aim of my golfing career would be to win a major tournament," said Jeev.
"But you can't take pressure on yourself thinking that you have 10 years. You can't go ahead of yourself. You got to give your best in every Major you play. "I would love to win in India too. I know I haven't won in India and may be I can do it on my own tournament. I have never played at the Noida golf course, so I will be teeing off at my own tournament," he added.
Ravaged by injuries through his career, Jeev is now planning to cut down on the number of tournaments next year to 35 and reckons that in future, he will have to give up one of the tour cards. "I am playing 35 tournaments next year. I used to play 40 so it is gonna be just 35, if I am bothered by injuries then it will come down to 30," he says with a smile.
"My medical team tells me Jeev what are you doing, you need to cut down to 30. I said you can't keep me off the course. Lets see, I don't want to give up a membership of any tour. "I love the Asian tour, Japan tour, European tour so lets see. This year I have a three year exemption after winning the Scottish Open, so I can choose and go with any tournament," he added.
The veteran golfer also had a lot of good things to say about the youngsters. "Gaganjeet has been brilliant this year, he broke into the top 100. Anirban Lahiri, Himmat Rai, SSP Cowrasia, Rashid Khan, they are all very hungry to win and they have proved themselves. So I think the future of all these guys is very bright," he said.
"It is a question of belief and belief should carry them to the top. They work hard and have a very good attitude. It is a question of time and belief when they win at the highest level," he added.