Jeev Milkha Singh, one of the UAE's favourite adopted sons, is reaping the rewards of his stunning triumph over some of the world's best golfers in last weekend's Singapore Open - the Indian's third title of the year not only brought him his biggest pay day of nearly US$800,000 (Dh4.38m) but earned him increased eligibility to compete in all of the top events on the calendar.
Prevailing in a powerful field including the major championship winners Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson, propelled Singh into the world's top 50 which offers an automatic entry into any tournament and also guaranteed him the the top spot in the Asian Order of Merit which he won for the first time two years ago. Sunday's big earnings boost which made him the first Asian to break through the $1m prize money barrier also enabled him to become the most successful golfer ever to play on the Asian tour, surpassing Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.
Singh is one of the travelling ambassadors for Golf in Dubai, the group who organise the Desert Classic and Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club, and their vice-chairman Mohamed Juma Buamaim was overjoyed at the spin-off value of the unexpected victory. "Like the great champion that he is, Jeev has once again demonstrated how he totally commits to the job at hand and gives 100 per cent every round," Buamaim said. "It is a tribute to his fighting qualities.
"Despite being troubled by a recurring neck injury, he refused to give up and trusted his swing. He is certainly the iron man of Indian golf. We wish him all the best and look forward to welcoming him back for the Desert Classic [in late January]." Earlier this year Singh won the European Tour's Bank Austria Open in Vienna in June and the Sammy Cup on the Japanese Tour the following month. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org