DUBAI, July 12 – Jeev Milkha Singh has exhorted existing and up-and-coming Indian players to take the MENA Golf Tour route for building a successful golfing career. “The tour, which is open to both professionals and amateurs from any part of the world, offers a great opportunity for the players to establish their credentials on the global stage. The prize money ($225,000) is good and so is the incentive of playing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic which is a popular stop on the European Tour schedule,” said the top Indian golfer as entries to the inaugural edition of the MENA Golf Tour are being accepted by the organisers. “Golf is the fastest growing sport in India today, and the talent in our country is fantastic! We need to continue to support this sport for players who are aiming to make a mark on the international circuit,” said Jeev, himself a three-time winner on the European Tour. “The MENA Golf Tour will undoubtedly play an important role in enhancing the popularity of the sport in and around the region, in particular,” said Jeev who was awarded the 'Padma Shree' -- the Indian equivalent of the knighthood in Britain – in 2007 for his contribution to the sport. “If we had the opportunity to play in so many world-class tournaments during my early career, India would have had a Major champion by now. But I promise that day is not far away. “Integrating and getting more exposure for players on different tours is essential to continue to develop these talents at this most competitive level,” said the son of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh. “I am sure the MENA Golf Tour will be as competitive as any tour since there is no dearth of talent in the region. The players will have to be at their top of their game if they aim to realize their dream of making a successful career out of golf,” said Jeev, who is also a global ambassador for ‘golf in DUBAi’ – the promoters and organizers of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters events. “To be a ‘golf in DUBAi’ ambassador is a very special honour indeed, because Dubai is fast becoming one of the most important centres for world golf. I have enjoyed a great relationship with the organisation and have been made to feel at home during the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and whenever I am in the city. “I have always said I love playing in Dubai because of the massive support I enjoy from the expat Indian population here. And what can you say about the tournament – you know its class when someone like Tiger Woods agrees to travel all the way from Florida to play this particular event. The field and the feel of the Omega Desert Classic is just world-class,” he added. A superb new initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Golf Tour will feature four back-to-back tournaments in its inaugural edition, all to be played in the UAE. The first event will be held at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club from September 25 to 28 while the second and third event will be played from October 2 to 5 and October 9 to 12 at the Tower Links Golf in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai’s Al Badia Golf Club respectively before the tour reaches its climax with the ‘Tour Championship’ to be held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf from October 16 to 19. The top three professionals and the leading amateur from the Order of Merit will receive special invitations to compete in the 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic and, possibly, other European Tour events in the region. Interested players may visit the tour website – http://www.menagolftour.com – for more details and registration.