Miami:A sizzling Jeev Milkha Singh outshone Tiger Woods with a sensational seven-under 65 to join Major winners Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen at the top after the opening round of the $8,500,000 WGC-CA Championship golf tournament here.
The 11th hole bogey was the lone blot in Jeev's otherwise impeccable card as the Chandigarh pro reeled off eight birdies on a breezy afternoon to soar to the top in a four-way lead that also includes Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng.
Jeev, a 10th tee starter, began with a birdie but immediately dropped a shot but three par shots later, he fired a birdie hattrick to make the turn at three-under.
Jeev kicked off his front journey with a bang, reeling off a birdie treble and picked up one more shot on the fifth hole to settle for a scorcher of a card.
In contrast, world number one Woods shot one-under 71 to be at 40th position.
Jeev's flawless golf left playing partner Briny Baird spellbound. "He was unbelievable. It was blowing out there but he never looked in trouble," Baird gushed. A beaming Jeev later said he loved the layout of the Blue Monster at Boral.
"Honestly, I love this golf course. I think it suits my eye. I hit the ball well and I think it all comes down to putting at the end of the day. I rolled it well, so I'm pretty pleased with a 65," he added.
Jeev was not too unhappy with his long game either. "It went very good too. I hit 12 fairways out of 14. I played a very solid round of golf and pretty pleased with everything.
"I've been hitting the ball really well in the Middle East swing in Europe, and then after that, even in the LA Open when I played. I think I worked quite hard last week on my putting, and I think it's showing and hopefully it keeps showing," said the affable Indian.
A veritable globe-trotter who criss-crosses his way to Asian, Japan, European and PGA Tour events, Jeev made it clear that even if he wins his PGA Tour card, he would continue playing international events.
"If I got my card here, I would play my minimum. That's what you're required to do. I would still play internationally also because playing in different conditions makes you a better player," he said.
Aware of the fact that he is often confused with and related to Vijay Singh, Jeev said probably winning on PGA Tour would take care of that.
"I still need to prove myself out here, and I think that's what you get the recognition for. I hopefully one day can win a tournament on the US PGA TOUR, and then I think the recognition will come," Jeev quipped.