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Talk about Jeev Milkha Singh and now he has a massive accolade in his kitty. The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) has honoured ace Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh by naming a tournament, Take Open Golf Championship, after him.
The Chandigarh leg of the domestic PGTI Tour will henceforth be called the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Presented by Take Solutions.
With this feat, Jeev becomes the first player in the history of Indian golf to have a tournament named after him. The tournament will be played at the Chandigarh Golf Club, Jeev's home club, from November 1 to 4 and will offer an enhanced prize purse of Rs 1.5 crores. That's an increase of Rs 50 lakh from last year's prize when Shubhankar Sharma won.
"It's just an amazing honour. You have tournaments named after legends like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus on the PGA Tour in the US. I have always thought it was the greatest recognition for players to have the Tour name its events after them. I never thought I'd have the same honour one day. I am truly humbled," the 46-year-old said.
Jeev said he didn't have to think twice before accepting the honour.
"Not only is a tournament being named after me, it is also in my hometown of Chandigarh and being played at Chandigarh Golf Club, and I owe a lot to both these places," he said.
"I'd like to thank Take Solutions, and its founder Mr HR Srinivasan. For them to propose that someone else's name take the limelight when they are footing the bill, just shows they have their heart in the right place for the game. And thanks also to the PGTI to agree to this," added the Padma Shree and Arjun Award winner, widely considered as a trailblazer for Indian golf because of his international achievement.
Jeev said he plans to do full justice to the tournament as a host, but that would not stop him from trying to win the title.
"The last few years have been tough for me because of various injuries. However, I can feel that things are slowly turning around. The first objective would always be to win the tournament, even if it means I am being an ungrateful host," said the four-time champion on the European Tour and twice Order of Merit winner on the Asian Tour.
He also expressed his desire to make the tournament the city's first-ever Asian Tour event and said he would be asking all his friends on tour to participate.
"I do have a few thoughts to make the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Presented by Take Solutions a world-class event. To begin with, I will definitely be requesting my friends and colleagues on the Tour to come and play, and make all the players feel comfortable and welcome at the event," he said.