CASTLE STUART, United Kingdom (AFP) – Twelve months after injuring his finger en route to victory in the Scottish Open and Jeev Milka Singh's troublesome finger has still not fully mended.
Singh injured the index finger of his right hand playing a shot during the second round on the Gil Hanse-designed Castle Stuart course to the east of Inverness in northern Scotland.
Shortly after his play-off success over Italy's Francesco Molinari the injury forced Singh to sit out seven weeks of competition.
The injury flared again during November's Singapore Open, and an event Singh captured in 2008, forcing the Chandigarh golfer out of the second round at Sentosa.
And while the 41-year-old has undergone continual treatment on his finger, the injury has seen Singh having also to withdraw from May's flagship PGA Championship and pull out of a US Open qualifier four days later.
The injury has also taken a toll on Singh's world ranking, the Indian having slipped to 154th in the world after being placed 87th following his Scottish Open win while he's 104th on the Race to Dubai money list after ending 32nd at the close of last season.
"It's been extremely frustrating as my finger is still not so good, honestly," he said.
"I've also been struggling with my driving and my injury too.
"I can trace the injury back to the Scottish Open last year, second round, my club got stuck in the ground.
"I then had about six to seven weeks off.
"But then after having to pull out of the BMW PGA this year I got an injection on both sides of the finger. The doctors injected dextrose in it, to tighten up the ligament which will protect the bone because every time I hit the ground it hurts."
Singh added: "I've also spoken to a doctor in Leeds, one of the best hand specialists in the world, and he said sometimes one shot doesn't work, that you may have to have another.
"I'll see how it goes this week here in Scotland, then if I feel I need another injection, maybe I'll get injected again after the Scottish because I'm not going to play much after that."
Singh, who had been the first Indian golfer to qualify for the European Tour, went into the final round of last year's Scottish Open five strokes behind and lying in joint 16th position.
He had been enjoying a slice of chocolate cake and a cup of tea in the Castle Stuart clubhouse when he then found himself in a play-off with Francesco Molinari, and defeating the then reigning Spanish Open champion with a birdie at the first extra play-off hole.
"I was having a nice cup of tea and some chocolate cake and watching it on TV, and suddenly started getting excited," he recalled.
"I think God was kind to me, as the field came back and I was able to be in a play-off.
"So I am now going to follow the same route again this year staying at the Kingsmill Hotel, eating at the same Indian restaurant."
Capturing the Scottish Open saw Singh qualify for the following week's British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes and should he again be successful, Singh will qualify for a third British Open in his career.
If unsuccessful, he intends taking a further five weeks off from competition in order to finally heal his troublesome finger.