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Crans Montana, Switzerland, August 31: An injury free Jeev Milkha Singh of India is determined to launch a title assault at the Omega European Masters starting Thursday.

Singh, a two-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, will be on the hunt to end a three-year title drought in the €2,000,000 (approx. US$2,600,000) event co sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Singh was plagued by a back injury last year but believes he is on track to rediscovering his superb form which earned him the Order of Merit crowns in 2006 and 2008.

He will have Colin Montgomerie, the successful European Ryder Cup captain in 2010 and former Asian Tour number one Simon Dyson for company in the opening two rounds at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. 

“I’m pretty happy with my game. I’ve worked hard on it and I don’t have any more injuries. I’m working on the right stuff and that’s the main goal for me – to stay fit,” said Singh.

The Asian Tour honorary member harbours hopes of breaking into the world’s top-50, a feat he achieved early in 2010 but admits he needs to start winning to achieve his goal. 

“I’m on track to my goal of breaking into the world’s top-50 again but I feel I need to win two or three times a year to do that. I feel my game is good enough to be in the top-50 of the world but need to take things slowly.

“I’ll try to finish in the top-100 by this year and hopefully I can be in the top-50 by July next year. The main thing is to have a win by the end of the year. That would certainly help with my goal and my confidence,” said Singh, currently outside the top-200 in the world.

Singh’s decision to give up his US PGA Tour card this year has given him more opportunities to work on his game and concentrate playing in Europe, Asia and Japan. 

“I gave up my PGA Tour card because I didn’t want to travel that much. I can’t hold on to so many cards. That’s too much travelling and with the injuries I had, I need to take care of my fitness. It will be less tournaments but more hard work and quality golf,” he said.

Current Order of Merit leader S.S.P. Chowrasia, winner of the Avantha Masters in India earlier this year, hopes to bounce back into form and extend his lead on the Order of Merit

“I’ll play in Europe in the next few weeks then I’ll return to Asia because I’m aiming to win the Order of Merit. That’s my dream and goal for the year,” said the Indian, who is the son of a greenskeeper at Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

However, he admits he needs to rediscover his putting and chipping touch, which has been the strong point in his game in the past.

“There is always something missing from my golf game. It is either my chipping or putting that will let me down. I’ve really been struggling in the last few months but my confidence is slowly growing,” said Chowrasia.

Newly crowned Major champions Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland will headline the Omega European Masters this week with world number two Lee Westwood of England.

Jyoti Randhawa, the Order of Merit champion in 2002, Shiv Kapur and India’s rising stars Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri will also join the elite cast at the Crans-sur-Sierre. 

The Omega European Masters is the first event in Europe to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour in 2009.

Photo - Asian Tour 

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