Bolstered by a top 10 finish in over three years at True Thailand Classic last week, seasoned golfer Jeev Milkha Singh is hoping to break his title drought when he competes in one of the strongest field at the Hero Indian Open golf tournament. (Read More in Golf)
It has been a cycle of highs and lows for Jeev as he won four titles in 2006 and 2008 each across the Asian, European and Japan Tour and the Indian ace is looking forward to repeat that cycle starting this week.
"I am looking for that cycle to happen because that's the way I have gone through this patches where nothing happens for me for three years and then I suddenly wake up and I am a new brand person and I hope last week is a start and the ball keeps rolling to the holes this week," Jeev said.
Jeev had won the Volvo China Open and Volvo Masters in 2006 at the European Tour, besides clinching the Casio World Open and Nippon Series JT Cup in Japan Tour.
The veteran golfer then again came back to sweep four more titles in 2008 when he won the Bank Austria Open in European Tour, Barclays Singapore Open in Asia Tour and Nagashima Shigeo Invitational Sega Sammy Cup and Golf Nippon Series JT Cup in the Japan tour.
"It is one of the strongest fields in Indian Open this time with many European players coming here and also the presence of Asian golfers makes it exciting and there will be stiff competition," Jeev said.
"I played my first junior tournament here at the Delhi Golf Club but I have never won a professional tournament here. But anything is possible and I hope this time I can win," said the 44-year-old, who last won a title at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July, 2012.
A six-time winner at the Asian Tour, Jeev had to battle through a series of injuries in the last few years.
"When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. Last three years have not been good for me. But I never stop believing myself. Last week most things fell into place and I got a lot of confidence. I hope more often things fall into place this week," he said.
"I think the main thing is the trust. I have been hitting the ball well in driving range for the last five weeks but results were not coming because I was not trusting myself under pressure during match situation.
"Last week I hit the ball well and the last three days, my putting has also improved. So my short game was sharp and I felt really good," he added.
Talking about the course at DGC, Jeev said: "I have played Indiam Open at least 20 times but every time I play at DGC, it is different. It is a course where you need a lot of mental strength and distance control. It requires patience, you can't get angry."
Asked about his schedule, Jeev said: "After this week, I am taking four weeks off and then I will be in Japan for a week and then there is Volvo China Open. I will also play Mauritius and then May onwards I will be based in Europe. I have 33 events this year, including Europe and Asia. I hope to finish the year on a good note."
Jeev also recently changed his caddie Janet Squire, who has been associated with the Indian for eight years.
"I changed my caddie because I didn't know my schedule, which tournaments I will play. We had a eight year relation and I thought it would be fair for her to move on."
Talking about his series of injuries which affected his game in the last few years, he said: "Injury is the toughest thing that can happen to any sports person. Physically it bothers you but mentally it sets you back because there are shots which you suddenly can't play now.
"What kept me going is that I believed I can win and play at the top level and so I kept working harder. I always believed age is a number and you get a lot of experience and learn to be patient with age."