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Jeev named for Special Achievement award

December 05, 2006 17:31 IST

After becoming the first Indian to qualify for the US Masters, Jeev Milkha Singh notched another accolade today when he was nominated for the Asian Tour's inaugural UBS Special Achievement Award.

Jeev rose to a career-high 47th on the Official World Golf Ranking overnight after successive victories at the Casio World Open and the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup on the Japan Golf Tour in the last two weeks.

His meteoric rise booked him a place in next year's US masters in April.

The Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit winner still has the next week's season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia to play after a brilliant season, in which he also became the first Indian to win a European Tour title after he clinched the Volvo Masters in Spain.

The new award, inaugurated as part of UBS's title-sponsorship of the Order of Merit, will be revealed at the Asian Tour's UBS Awards Gala dinner in Bangkok next Sunday.

Jeev is joined by some of Asian golf's biggest stars on the prestigious list of nominees.

Heading the challengers is one of Asian golf's most respected figures, Boonchu Ruangkit, along with fellow Thais Thongchai Jaidee and Chinarat Phadungsil and Singapore's Mardan Mamat.

The five players on the shortlist were nominated by the Asian Tour and the final selection will be made by a panel of six members of the regional golf media and the sport's administration. The vote will be conducted by secret ballot.

Boonchu recently won the Champions Tour Qualifying School and reiterated his playing talent and ability to continue forging a new path for Asian Tour members.

The other contenders have also made considerable cases for recognition -- Mardan's outstanding home victory at the OSIM Singapore Masters earlier this year, Thongchai's 2006 debut at the US Masters and opening of his junior academy and Chinarat's maturation into one of Asia's rising young stars headlining their cases.

"Although not restricted to players, it is appropriate that five of the Tour's finest, including Jeev, Boonchu and Thongchai, are being acknowledged for their contributions to Asian golf in the award's first year," Head of Sponsorship Asia Pacific Oliver Bertschinger said.

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