In with a birdie chance, Shiv Kapur approached the 18th green of the Karnataka Golf Association with the intent of getting closest to the leaders.
Pulling it off would have placed him at four-under 67, a stroke adrift of James Morrison and Richie Ramsay.
Much as he tried to focus, his caddie’s nagging was a distraction. The opening day of the Hero Indian Open was yet to get over, but the latter was already planning for dinner. Chicken tikka and beer were among the items he wanted Shiv to treat him to. The birdie did come about but the caddie was admonished for displaying a hunger that had little to do with Shiv’s craft.
With Thakur, the regular caddie, out of action for a few months after being hit by a car in Delhi, old acquaintance, Neeraj, has been on the bag.
Coincidence or otherwise, the change seems to have worked well for the 30-year-old. Their association dating to the days at Modern School, the camaraderie has helped Shiv on the course.
Discussing topics other than golf has had a soothing effect, and the fifth spot at last week's Venetian Macau Open is an example.
Digression can be risky but having “played the sport long enough to handle it”, Shiv has accepted the diversions warmly. Catching up on old times or planning for the next meal, the bonding has been immaculate. Though he was the best Indian on view, the yearning for more was apparent.
“I could have gone really low but I did not hole too many putts. But that’s a golfer for you, they are never satisfied, but you are bound to have good and bad days.” Lest he be misunderstood, Shiv hastened to add, “Had you told me at the start of the day that I would shoot a 67 in this breeze, I would have taken it.”
By now, the pangs of hunger were tugging at the stomach. The two had been seated for a while but were yet to be attended to. Informed that sandwiches were all that were available, Shiv’s partner got fidgety. The golfer sought to calm him with some more gastronomic talk. “Good food is what it’ll be tonight,” he promised.