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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Other Sport

Shiv 'swings' back to where he belongs
Robin Bose, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, February 04, 2013
First Published: 00:24 IST(4/2/2013)
Last Updated: 00:26 IST(4/2/2013)

Hands together in applause, it was admiration that united the motley crowd around the 18th green. It was silence that bound Shiv Kapur and his caddy, Thakur.

The par putt made, and as is the norm, Shiv raised the arms in acknowledgement, but that was all in terms of physical display of emotion. The clapping got louder but that seemed to have little effect on the two men. Shutting out the noise, they took a few steps forward before Shiv made the final move of holding his man on the bag in a tight hug.

The embrace was a quiet affirmation of the promise the two had made when Thakur was involved in a road accident last year.

The injuries led him to miss the Indian Open in October but the word stood that they would get together again, and win.

If the Shubhkamna Champions win last month helped a monkey (of a fruitless run) off the back, the Gujarat Kensville Challenge got "seven monkeys (a seven-year international title drought) off" him.

The win at the Volvo Masters of Asia, Thailand, in 2005, soon after he turned professional, promised much but as Shiv said while dedicating the two-stroke win to Thakur, "things had gone ahead of plan".

Expectations soared but when the results dried up, pressure built up.

Amid the struggle to "follow the process", Shiv did keep his playing rights on the European Tour for six seasons but losing the card last year was the final blow.

Though armed with rights on the Asian Tour, Europe is where he aspires to be, and the Euro 32,000 cheque could be the first step in that direction.

The signs of a turnaround were visible from September and the four top-10s in Asia were proof of the hours put in with coach Jamie Gough.

"We found something in the swing and worked hard on it," said Shiv.


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