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Tiger Woods is the only athlete bigger than sports: Jeev Milkha Singh

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He was once described by Woods as a “great guy and a good friend.” And to Indian golf veteran Jeev Milkha Singh, legendary sportsman Tiger Woods is the only athlete in the world, who is bigger than the sport he plays.

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Talking of the Golf legend, who bounced back from repeated injuries and marriage problems to win his 80th PGA Tour title earlier in September, Jeev said that he feels Woods has three-four years of a career still left in him.

“I feel that he has got another three-four years during which he is going to win a few tournaments,” the 46-year-old was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Tuesday.

“For me, personally, Tiger is the only athlete in the world who is bigger than the sport…there have been legends in basketball, in athletics, but I think what Tiger has done for golf, he is bigger than the sport. “The awareness he has brought for golf, I think nobody could have done that,” added Jeev.

Jeev was the first Indian golfer to join the European Tour – he did so in 1998 – and was also the first ever Indian to be ranked inside the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking. His four European tour victories along with other six Asian Tour wins and a T9 finish at the 2008 PGA Championship makes him the greatest Indian golfer ever.

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But his career was still cut short with continuous injuries and knowing that Jeev was excited to see ‘his friend’ Woods return from such career-threatening injuries and win a title. The PGA Tour title was the American’s first title in five years – A period he has battled not just injuries but also other issues that maligned the celebrated star.

Woods shared a close relationship with the Indian golfer and is also reported to have tracked the Indian’s career. He, as reported by PTI, praised Jeev for his consecutive title wins in the Japan Tour in 2006 and also said that he likes to keep himself updated with his friend’s progress.

Jeev was recently honoured by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), which named a tournament -Take Open Golf Championship – after him.

News agency PTI also reported that the Chandigarh leg of the domestic PGTI Tour will be called the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Presented by Take Solutions. The tournament will be played at the Chandigarh Golf Club – which is Jeev’s parent club – from November 1 to 4 and will offer an enhanced prize purse of Rs 1.5 crore.

“I am sure it is going to be a grand success. Players love coming here to play, they enjoy the hospitality here” said Jeev, reports the agency while talking about the upcoming tournament.

He is eager to win the title at his home course and asked if playing at home gave him any extra pressure of winning it, Jeev said, “As a host, the pressure on me is going to be that players are well taken care of”.

Image Source: Golf Digest

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