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Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Jeev Milkha Singh  (Getty Images)
Jeev Milkha Singh (Getty Images)
Jeev Milkha Singh hopes to put some indifferent form behind him as the Indian prepares to defend his Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title at Castle Stuart Golf Links.

The 42 year old won his fourth European Tour title with a play-off victory over Francesco Molinari 12 months ago, but has had only one top-ten finish since and missed the cut in his last four starts.

Singh’s game has not been helped by a finger injury, but he believes the fond memories of his last visit to Scotland could help to recapture his form.

“The respect, the feeling you get when you get back is fantastic, and everybody is congratulating you, and a year later, it's amazing, the feeling you can't explain - that's the way I would put it,” said Singh. “I'm glad I'm back, and I'm looking forward to this week. 

“My game has not been good, but my last round in The French Open was fantastic, and I'm just going to think about the 17 holes I played on that tough course, not the 18th; I had a bad finish. 

“I'm looking forward to this week. Whenever you’ve won on a golf course, you feel positive, and you want to do well again, and I think the positive vibes and mentally thinking well helps you quite a bit when you come back to a golf course where you've won. 

“The right index finger is not 100 per cent, and I just feel that I'm going to stop thinking about it now. It just hurts when I hit shots, but I've got to go with the flow, and it's been a while.”

The only downside for Singh this week is that his golfing commitments mean he will miss the premiere of a film based on his father Milkha Singh’s life.

Known as The Flying Sikh, Singh senior finished fourth in the 400 metres at the 1960 Olympics. 

“It's a big week for the family,” added Singh. “Me winning last year and defending this week; father's movie coming out on Friday. 

“It's a movie on his life history. It's an inspirational movie - it's not only for sporting people. It's for people from any area in life. It's a movie on a person who has a struggle in life but he's still come out successful and made it. 

“I've seen the movie and I personally feel that it's going to be one of the best movies India produces this year. It's going to get a lot of awards, and it's a message to the youths and everybody out there that has hardships in life, but if you hang in there, you work hard, you still can make it. 

“There was a private screening on Friday last week in London for a few people. The director was very happy; even my father was happy, because most of the people cried in the movie.

“My father was a friend, a very good friend; when he needed to be a father, he was a father. In fact, last week he was talking to me, and I said ‘Dad, I'm 42’, and he said ‘no, for a sportsman, you've got to maintain a standard’. 

“That's the thing, he has always told me that for years, and it's like a record being played all the time.  He says: ‘This is the way, I'm a sports man, I'm telling you the way it is, and he tells me all the time, he still does, that you have to work hard’.” 

The addition of golf to the Olympic schedule in Rio in 2016 has given Singh a chance to replicate his father’s accomplishment of representing his country, and it is one he is keen to grasp.

“I think the best gift I could give my father would be to represent India in the Olympics,” he said. “If I can do that in 2016 - and my goal is that - I would like to work hard and make sure I'm in the top 100 so that I can represent India in the Olympics and if I can a medal, I think that would be fantastic. That's in my mind and I would like to do that in 2016.” 

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