Dubai: After missing out on the Race to Dubai for the last two years, a slightly injured but hungry Jeev Milkha Singh now returns to the season-ending finale DP World Tour Championship on the European Tour at the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates here.
One of the truly global golfers, Jeev has straddled between Asian, European and Japanese Tours over the years, with a few appearances in the US thrown in.
This year has been no different, despite the Indian ace having at times being hit by injuries. His index finger of the right hand is still injured but he has often played through the pain barrier, like he did at the Scottish Open in July, when he emerged champion.
Jeev played 24 events on the European Tour and stands 29th on the eve of the DP World Tour Championship.
"I love playing in Dubai. I have so many friends and supporters that it almost feels like home. And then I have had my sponsors, too, here," said Jeev, who has won more than Euros 857,000 this season on European Tour.
In his only appearance in the DP World Tour Championships in Dubai in 2009, Jeev finished a creditable 13th. The 2009 event was won by Lee Westwood with Rory McIlroy finishing third.
"I am looking forward to this event at Jumeirah, where the golf course is in superb shape and the field is absolutely world-class. Playing with the best always makes one feel good," he said.
The stellar field in Dubai includes a good number of winners from various events last week. Leading them is Luke Donald, former World No. 1, who flew into Dubai backed by his first win in Japan with which he overtook Tiger Woods as the World No. 2 and only Rory McIlroy stands in front of him in World rankings.
Also on Sunday, Miguel Angel Jimenez showed that age is no barrier as he became the oldest European Tour winner ever at 48 years of age. In South Africa on the same Sunday, Henrik Stenson squeezed in his first European Tour title for more than five years in South Africa and moved to 45th, while at the Australian Masters, Ian Poulter finished runner-up to Adam Scott.
In contrast, McIlroy missed only his third cut on the European Tour this season at last week's UBS Hong Kong Open, but the Northern Irishman boasts an impressive record in Dubai, having captured his debut European Tour title at the 2009 Omega Dubai Desert Classic and finished third (2009), fifth (2010) and tied 11th (2011) in the last three editions of the DP World Tour Championship.
He said: "Obviously Hong Kong wasn't the week that I wanted, but at least it gave me the chance to get to Dubai a bit earlier and work on a few things. I definitely needed to work on my putting a little bit, because I feel like I'm still hitting the ball well, I just haven't holed enough putts over the past two weeks. I was maybe also a little bit tired, mentally and physically."
Story first published on: Tuesday, 20 November 2012 18:52 IST