Singh sets major target

Jeev Milka Singh wants to follow Nick Faldo as a major winner after emulating the Ryder Cup captain to win the rain-shortened Bank Austria Open.

Jeev Milka Singh wants to follow Nick Faldo as a major winner after emulating the Ryder Cup captain to win the rain-shortened Bank Austria Open.

Singh carded a closing 71 with 18 straight pars at Fontana Golf Club to repeat Faldo’s feat in the final round of his Open Championship victory at Muirfield in 1987.

The 36-year-old began the day with a four-shot lead and, although he was never less than two ahead until the final hole, needed to survive a few nervous moments to claim the first prize and his third European Tour title after two second places earlier this season.

A 15-under-par total of 198 left Singh one shot clear of England’s Simon Wakefield, who birdied three of the last four holes, with compatriot Iain Pyman, Swedish trio Martin Erlandsson, Pelle Edberg and Michael Jonzon and Australian Peter Fowler sharing third on 12 under.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who beat Singh in a play-off in the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea in March, had been in contention but three-putted the 17th and then hit his approach into the water on the last to finish in a tie for eighth.

“I had no idea about matching Nick Faldo. I was trying to make birdies but they just weren’t going in,” said Singh, winner of the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in 1996.

“It’s great to win, it’s always a feather in your cap. I’ve knocked on the door a few times this season and at last the door has opened for me. I’m pretty excited about that.

“Hopefully I can take confidence from this and try to move onto bigger things. I would like to win a major one day, that’s for sure one of my goals.”

Runner-up Wakefield is still seeking his first Tour title in 206 events but was delighted to claim outright second with a late charge.

“The game plan was to just go out and not do anything stupid to take me out of the tournament early on,” admitted the 34-year-old from Newcastle-under-Lyme. “But then, after the 12th, I just changed gear, tried to be a bit more aggressive and it paid off.

“It’s fantastic. My season has not been sparkling so far but the last few weeks I could see some form there. With my wife Denise and little girl Lucy watching at home on TV, I’m glad I put a good show on for them.

“Jeev won in China (in 2006) when I finished fourth, he always seems to beat me by a couple, but hopefully in the next few years I can get my revenge.”

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