For celebrity sons, it has often been a free choice. A one-way road to whatever they want to be, only one pair of shoes at the start of the road for them to slip into, which usually belongs to their fathers.
Many accept this as intended and pick up their father’s tracks. Others like Jeev Milkha Singh, go their own way and try and match up to the calibre of their parents. Jeev has had two people to match up to – the great Milkha Singh and his mother, Nirmal Kaur who too was the former captain of the Indian Volleyball team.
Unarguably the most successful golfer India has ever produced; Jeev Milkha Singh has over 13 International career wins to his name. Jeev achieved a career-high world ranking of 28 which came in 2009, the highest by an Indian golfer till date.
Jeev Milkha Singh
Date of Birth
December 15, 1971
Growing up, Jeev was always involved with sports. He attended St. John’s High School in Chandigarh India and Bishop Cotton High School in Shimla. Growing up in Chandigarh, Jeev accompanied his father to the golf course regularly and picked up the game at a tender age.
The routine was set: school, tuitions and sports. He was 14 when he started going to the gym on alternate days, and by 15 he was introduced to the benefits of yoga. Jeev attended Abilene Christian University in the United States, obtaining a degree in business and international studies in 1996. There he also won the NCAA Division II individual Golf Championship in 1993 in addition to a number of amateur tournaments in the USA.
Jeev turned professional in 1993 and his first professional win was at the 1993 Southern Oklahoma State Open. He played mainly in Asia, where he was a regular winner in the mid-1990s. In 1997 he finished seventh at the European Tour qualifying school and joined the tour the following year. In 1999, he finished 50th on the European Order of Merit and became only the third golfer to receive Arjuna Award. He struggled with injury in the early years of the new millennium.
In April 2006 he won the Volvo China Open, becoming the second Indian player to win on the European Tour after Arjun Atwal. He also won the season-ending Volvo Masters, which elevated him to a final position of 16th on the Order of Merit.
He finished 2006 as the winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit and capped his season with a pair of back to back wins in Japan to become the first Indian to make the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. In 2007 he became the first Indian golfer to participate in the Masters Tournament.
Also Read: 5 Indian Golfers Making India Proud
The Tournaments’ Master
Jeev has played in 3 Masters tournaments, being paired for the first two rounds with Tiger Woods in 2009. In August 2008, Jeev achieved the highest ranking for an Indian in any major event at the 2008 PGA Championship in Oakland Hills, finishing at T9, making him arguably India’s best golfer ever.
Jeev finished the 2008 European Tour season ranked 12th on the Order of Merit and after winning the Barclays Singapore Open won his second Order of Merit title on the Asian Tour. In 2009, Jeev finished the WGC-CA Championship in fourth place, after leading round one.
In July 2012, Jeev beat Francesco Molinari in a sudden-death playoff to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the week before the 2012 Open Championship. The win secured Jeev a spot in the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club as a result of finishing as the highest non-qualifier at the event.
The win was also Jeev’s fourth career victory on the European Tour and moved him ahead of Arjun Atwal, making him the most successful Indian golfer in European Tour history.
Asian Tour wins (6)
1995 (2) Philippine Classic, Asian Matchplay Championship
1996 (1) Philip Morris Asia Cup
1999 (1) Lexus International
2006 (1) Volvo China Open (co-sanctioned with the European Tour)
2008 (1) Barclays Singapore Open
Results in major championships
The Open Championship
*T9: Top 10
*CUT: Missed the half-way cut
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1|
Results in World Golf Championship
Accenture Match Play Championship
Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64: Round in which player lost in match play
Professional golf players on major tours can vary heavily in winnings. Top golfers make Rs 34 crore to Rs 40 crore per year, while unknown players earn much less. On average, PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) earnings are slightly less than Rs 6 crore, while PGA, Euro and other tours pay a bit less.
For instance, Singh has made near Rs two crore on the PGA tour and Rs 12 crore in the last decade on the Euro tour. According to reports, his estimate for 2018 was Rs 41 crore.
For all his exploits overseas, he’s still not getting anything in terms of endorsements even while cricketers continue to be signed on for every product possible. Jeev’s only Indian endorser thus far has been Hero Honda.
- The golfer was the recipient of Padma Shri in 2007.
- Jeev also has won Arjuna Award for his incredible success in golf.
- He has also received Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement.
- The golfing sensation was leading player in Order of Merit Winners in 2006 as well as in 2008.
Jeev was born in Chandigarh, India to Indian Olympic athlete Milkha Singh and Nirmal Kaur, former captain of the Indian women’s volleyball team. Jeev has a very close-knit family – he is the youngest of 4 children and is the only boy in his family. He has 3 older sisters – Sonia, Mona and Aleeza. In 2007, Jeev married his childhood friend Kudrat and welcomed his son, Harjai into this world in 2010.
Brilliant. Please pass on my congratulations jeev ? https://t.co/A5efBDKqf9— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) December 21, 2018
Sporting accomplishments are not uncommon in the Singh family. Jeev’s father, the legendary “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh, was an Olympic sprinter for India. Jeev is very close to his family and credits his family for all the support they have given him during his career. When he’s not travelling on tour, Jeev resides with his family in Chandigarh and loves to spend time with his son.
Lesser known facts about Jeev Milkha Singh
- He is involved with the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust founded in 2003 which helps the needy and sportspeople.
- Jeev Milkha Singh is the first Indian to play Masters Tournament.
Golf in India
Today starts the Milkha Junior Golf Championship in Chandigarh, which is hosted by Milkha’s Charitable Trust. It’s a pleasure to be in the company of future Indian champions. I always strive to give back to the sport, and what better way than this. All the best boys and girls. pic.twitter.com/RG8QFBWKe2— Jeev Milkha Singh (@JeevMilkhaSingh) January 7, 2019
In one of the interview when he was asked, in a country like India where cricket is worshipped, do you see golf achieving any level of popularity? He answered, “Yes, in the next decade golf will become as popular as cricket. The media, especially the TV, is playing a big role in popularising the sport. A lot of young people who watch the game on TV have been lured to it. There is also good money in it and young people have started realising that golf can be a profession in itself and one can make a decent living out of it.”
Not sure where that front nine came from!! But I have been working hard on my game and to have that run reminded me of good times in the past. Hopefully, I can carry on the momentum. @asiantourgolf #BangabandhuCupGolf pic.twitter.com/F5i1OwmEiJ— Jeev Milkha Singh (@JeevMilkhaSingh) April 4, 2019
It was a privilege to be the guest of honour at the Republic Day function of the Income Tax Department in Chandigarh. On this special day, I urge all my countrymen to show their patriotism by paying all taxes.@IncomeTaxIndia pic.twitter.com/vTLOqFIEUm— Jeev Milkha Singh (@JeevMilkhaSingh) January 26, 2019
Big boys of Indian golf @JeevMilkhaSingh and @Arjunatwal at the Jeev’s birthday celebration in Jakarta on Dec 15. The duo which inspired a generation and more including golf writers. #Keepgoing pic.twitter.com/MUeTcw4kho— V Krishnaswamy (@Swinging_Swamy) December 16, 2018
This from Mr Milkha Singh’s personal Wall of Fame in his Chandigarh home. The flags and pins from races he took part in 80 different countries is a thing of beauty, so is the picture with hockey maestro Dhyan Chand and Rustam-e-jahaan Dara Singh. What a legend!! @JeevMilkhaSingh pic.twitter.com/pL8zXDC4tl— Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyofGolf) November 21, 2018
And our tournament host @JeevMilkhaSingh and his lovely wife @MilkhaKudrat watch the final group on the 14th hole. This is the first time I am seeing Jeev walking the course and not playing golf!!#JeevMilkhaSinghInvitational @PGTITOUR @TAKEgolfing @TakeSri pic.twitter.com/Ji7sScUH39— Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyofGolf) November 3, 2018
Jubilant Jeev was destined to excel in the world of sport. Sports fans are well aware that India’s current professional golfers are doing the country proud. But often there are questions about the next wave of players. Is there enough upcoming talent to fill the formidable shoes of Jeev Milkha Singh?
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