Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei: Jeev Milkha Singh, the first Indian professional golfer to join the European Tour in 1998, celebrated his 41st birthday in advance as he was honoured with the Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement Award. Jeev was in the august company of 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus and eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie of Scotland.
The award was given out on the eve of the sixth edition of the Royal Trophy between Asia and Europe, which began Friday in the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. "This is a massive recognition for something that I have absolutely loved to do for the past two decades," said Jeev, who turns 41 Saturday.
"This is one of the most prestigious awards in Asia Pacific region, but to be named alongside someone like Jack Nicklaus and Colin Montgomerie... It really doesn't get any better than this," he said. "Both Nicklaus and Colin have been great inspirations for me through everything they achieved in their sterling careers. And this award simply adds to my motivation to try and become even better and bring more glory to Asian and Indian golf," Jeev said.
The award for Jeev came in recognition of his achievements around the world, including four titles in Europe, four in Japan and six others on Asian Tour. Overall he has 19 international titles and has twice won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in a career that is almost two decades old.
Jeev, son of India's legendary athlete Milkha Singh, turned professional in 1993. The honour was bestowed upon Jeev during the 13th edition of the Asian Golf Monthly Awards, widely regarded as the region's premier annual poll of golfing establishments in the Asia Pacific.
Montgomerie also received a Lifetime Achievement Award, while the inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Group Global Legacy Award was bestowed upon Jack Nicklaus. The top Indian golf courses were also recognized and awarded. The DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon received an award, as did Oxford Golf and Country Club, Pune and Eagleton Golf Resort, Bangalore. These were named top three golf courses in India.