Singh relishing Open chance

Jeev Milkha Singh will take part in The Open following his Scottish Open success

Jeev Milkha Singh will take part in The Open following his Scottish Open success

First published in National Sport © by

Jeev Milkha Singh is back in the Open Championship three years after pulling out injured two days before the start at Turnberry, unsure he would ever return.

The 40-year-old Indian will make his second appearance this week as Scottish Open champion after a dramatic final day at Castle Stuart. Marc Warren led by three entering the closing stretch, but in a traumatic meltdown double-bogeyed the 15th and bogeyed the next two - leaving Singh and Italian Francesco Molinari to battle it out for the title in a sudden death play-off.

"I was just enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake and watching it on television - and suddenly got excited," said Singh, who began the day five shots off the lead in joint 16th place.

While Molinari, runner-up for the second week running, was already exempt for Royal Lytham, Singh grabbed the one place up for grabs - and so Warren missed out on that as well.

Singh added: "I think God has been kind. The field came back and I'm very fortunate. Going into the Open Championship I think it's a treat for me."

Especially given his long struggle with back trouble.

"It's been more frustrating than anything else - you feel like your game is coming back and another injury creeps up," he continued. "I just stuck in there and worked on the physical side. Everything has paid off."

To win on a links course was a special moment for the first Indian golfer to qualify for the European Tour. His first experience of seaside golf came as a 16-year-old in 1988. It was for the qualifying rounds of the British amateur championship at Royal Porthcawl and also Pyle and Kenfig - he shot rounds of 87 and 84.

"I thought 'My God, this is tough'," he said. "I wasn't used to wearing raingear."

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