EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM
Friday, January 15, 2016
Jeev Milkha Singh
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Thanks for joining us. Give us your thoughts on how you feel about the first day’s outcome.
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Thinking and going back to two years ago, I think we were not placed that well. I think this year, we got 1 1/2 points in foursomes, and I think that’s the positive I’m looking at.
I think my team played really well today. I’m proud of my boys. They were just a little unlucky with their putts, but that’s what the game is all about, whoever holes them, wins. I think they are going to work pretty hard on their putting for tomorrow and the day after. Excited about the next two days.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Thongchai and Byeonghun got one point for the team, but how vital was the half-point from the Malaysian pair?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Byeonghun An and Thongchai, the way they came back on the back nine was fantastic to watch. I think they did an excellent job, and you know, once they win, I think Danny and Nicholas, also, had the momentum on the back nine. They came out very strong, too. I saw them on the back nine. They holed a few putts, and especially after SÃ¸ren Kjeldsen chipped in on the 17th, Nicholas Fung chipped in to keep the match all-square. I think that was just fantastic to watch. I was right there, enjoyed it.
18, I think especially, what way chip by Danny Chia on the 18th. That’s one of the toughest chips I can say, and he chipped it and he holed the putt, half-point there. I think both of them combined really well. They know each other’s games well. So I’m happy with them.
Also, I think S.S.P. and Kiradech, I think they had a fantastic match. They made a lot of birdies, and even Lee Westwood and Chris Wood made a lot of birdies today. A lot of excitement. It’s the first day and a lot of golf left.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You must have been calm and collected on the 18th green with Danny?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Not really. I wasn’t calm and collected. It was a tough one. As a player, when you miss it on the wrong side, you’ve got to hit one of the best chips possible, and he did that. He delivered under the gun, and I think that was fantastic to watch, especially when he holed the putt. I think you should have seen the response from the whole team. We just went crazy.
Q. I’m sure you had an idea of your foursomes pairings. Did today’s outcome change things?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: A little bit. Some of the pairings I thought were very strong, and I thought they would have a great chance. Like I mentioned earlier, it all comes down to putting, whoever holds those putts, 20, 30 feet. Because the greens are firm and you can’t really hit the ball close.
So whoever is hot with the putter that day, you know, he’s going to win the hole. And then after that, he holds one and then the partner holds one and then they kind of kept going.
But overall, I’m really happy with the performance of the team. The whole team hit the ball really well. It was just a question of putting. But they will be fine for tomorrow and the day after.
Q. On the 17th hole when Nicholas Fung chipped in, have you ever celebrated a putt on any of your own shots?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I’ve never celebrated. I think it was just fantastic to watch. Even when I won The Scottish Open, I don’t think I had that kind of a response coming out of myself or I could say that kind of feeling. It was just fantastic to watch.
I think I just ran up to him and gave him a high-five. I hope it wasn’t too hard to injure him (laughter) his right hand.
Q. And can you give us an idea as to why you changed a couple of pairings? You changed, for example, Wang with Kim. Was there any specific reason for any of the pairings?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I had thought about it. But the reason for changing the pairings for foursomes, I think foursomes is a very important day for a team event. I think the players have to be comfortable with who they are playing with, and these days, we have so many different brands of golf balls. You want to make sure the players play with the same brand, and they are used to that. Because this golf course requires a lot of wedges, which you’ve got to have the distance control on, and if the players are playing a different golf ball, even if they are playing for a hole, like you can tee off with a 6-iron and then you hit a Titleist on the next ball, it makes a lot of difference. So that was the main difference for me to make sure the boys are happy with the player they are playing with and the brand of the golf ball the partner is playing with so they are used to it and they have good distance control, and especially in putting. You need good feel because the feel is different for the pros when they putt with a different make of golf ball.
Q. So you’re down by three. What is the planned talk you’ll give to the team?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: The only talk I gave to my team today was that I’m still proud of them, believed in them, and they are going to have an excellent day tomorrow. And you’ve got to keep the morale up. You’ve got to keep the spirits up of the players, and that’s the job of the captain and that’s what I’m trying to do. If that happens, then I think the best is going to come out of the players.
And obviously they know, I don’t have to tell them, the shortfall obviously was the putting. Everybody is working on their putting right now as we speak, so it’s going to be better tomorrow.
Q. Being off the course and guiding the team —
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Honestly, playing is easier than being a captain. There is more pressure being a captain. As an individual, you just have to take care of yourself, but out here, I’ve got to take care of the 12 players, and they are world-class players. I’ve got to make sure everybody is happy, everybody is taking care of and their spirits are up.
Q. Have you ever put so many miles on a golf buggy as you did today?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think I haven’t been on a golf buggy that much and the kind of miles that I put on the buggy today.
Q. How do you find yourself personally dealing with the captaincy role?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I’m loving it. I just love it. I think it’s an honor by these world-class players that they have told me to be their captain. I just feel that if I can do a good job and make sure that they are comfortable and I keep their spirits high, I’ll feel that I’ve done a good job.
Q. On an emotional sort of personal point of view, how were your emotions today?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Yes, I think I was more emotional than when I’m playing. Especially on the first tee, I just was telling them to go out there and fun and that I believe in them. I just wanted to go out there and I wanted to do it, too, but as a captain, I just felt that, you know, these guys are the best and I want to do the best thing possible for them.
One or two shots with these guys, it just brought me goosebumps. These guys hit some great shots out there.
Q. The pairing with Thongchai?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Obviously they played well today so I wanted to go out and start the momentum out there. They are high on their confidence. Anirban and Wu Ashun, they have a lot of experience, I put them in the end so that if it comes down to the end, the last few groups have to take a lot of pressure for the team. So that’s why I put them in the end so that they can handle it well.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Thanks very much, Jeev.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports