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Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Now, opportunities have opened’
- It’s a major achievement and I’ve got to pick and choose the courses I think will favour me, says Jeev

Calcutta: Having won his first title in seven years, Jeev Milkha Singh has “many decisions” to make. On Sunday night, the first revolved around choosing an Indian restaurant (in Shanghai) to celebrate the pocketing of a $ 300,000 cheque in Beijing earlier in the day.

“I’m just checking-in... Once I’ve settled down, I’m going to head for the finest Indian restaurant and, then, watch one of the DVDs I’m travelling with,” an over-the-moon Jeev told The Telegraph after the two-hour flight from the Chinese capital.

Laughing, the 34-year-old added: “It has been a long day, but I won’t be forgetting it in a hurry...” He’s in Shanghai for the BMW Open which begins Thursday.

Jeev’s last Tour title had been the Lexus Open in Thailand and, by winning the Volvo China Open (a co-sanctioned meet), has earned the right to play any tournament in Asia or Europe till December 2008. “It’s a major achievement and I’ve got to pick and choose the courses I think will favour me,” he said.

But why did the iconic Milkha Singh’s son have to wait for seven years'

Jeev laughed again: “Perhaps, I was trying too hard... Perhaps, I put too much pressure on myself... However, I come from the school which says ‘don’t give up’ and that philosophy helped in the tough times... I also believe whatever happens is for the good and, now, opportunities have opened.”

Expectedly, his first call was to his parents ' Milkha and Nirmal.

“Dad was on the way home (Chandigarh) from Delhi... He was delighted and reminded me that hard work does pay off... As for mom, she congratulated by saying it’s never too late...Right now, I don’t see myself coming back in the next few months... Catching up with the family, then, has to wait,” Jeev informed.

The exemption for any meet in Europe or Asia for the next 30 months is terrific, but his goal is to qualify for the US Tour ' “That’s the wish... That’s the aim... That’s why I need to get my planning right... Need to make the right decisions...”

Jeev is his own manager.

Incidentally, he has hero-worshipped Fred Couples. “Why' Because of his attitude... Because of the way he conducts himself on the course... Because, quite simply, he’s a great golfer.”

While Jeev had a terrific Sunday, another Chandigarh da puttar, Yuvraj Singh, had a great Saturday. “So, he won another (third in succession) Man-of-the-Series award' Well, that’s fantastic... Obviously, Chandigarh ke paani mein kuch hai... I’ve only met Yuvraj once, but you’ve given terrific news...”

He continued: “Somehow, I’ve never really followed other sport, but a big Indian win (5-1 in the ODIs against England) is reason to celebrate, too... I’m happy for Yuvraj and happy for the Indian cricket team...”

According to Jeev, the facilities in Chandigarh are “fantastic” and that helps sportspersons. “In fact, the facilities are easily accessible and that makes a difference... Seriously, then, it’s not just the water...”

As he prepared to run a check on Indian restaurants, one asked the final question: “Aren’t his parents pushing him to tie the knot'” Jeev laughed yet again ' “Oh, absolutely... But I don’t see myself getting off the road right now!”

Not when handsome cheques come his way.

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