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Golfer Shiv Kapur wins third Asian Tour title in Thailand to round off great 2017

Delhi golfer Shiv Kapur waited almost 12 years before winning a second Asian Tour title in April, but has won two more since then, becoming the only player to win thrice on the continental tour.

other sports Updated: Dec 31, 2017 20:36 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shiv Kapur,golf,Asian Tour
India’s Shiv Kapur poses with the winner’s trophy after his victory in the final round of the Royal Cup golf tournament at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya.(AFP)

It can now be termed a quirky twist that Shiv Kapur did not make the Asia squad for the EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur in January. Had that happened, he would not have played the Royal Cup. But here he was on Sunday with the trophy and the winner’s cheque of $90,000.

Sans the EurAsia Cup, Shiv still had enough incentive to skip the Asian Tour’s season-ending event, which was included in the schedule days before it got underway at Pattaya’s Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

READ | Shiv Kapur clinches third Asian Tour title of the year, ends 2017 with Royal Cup

From his point of view, the season was epochal as he ended an 11-plus year title drought on the Asian Tour in April. Another jinx was broken in November when he won the Panasonic Open at the Delhi Golf Club, his home course, to end a long-standing urge. “Watching peers win here over the years had left me envious,” he had said.

Like many others, he could have taken the week off and spent time at home with family, particularly daughter Veda. He did not have to experience the pangs of separation though as the infant and mother Maya were present on the 18th green as he rolled in the putt for par to signal the one-shot victory.

READ | Shiv Kapur two behind leader, stays in hunt for third golf title of 2017

“Had I made the EurAsia Cup team, I wouldn’t be here. Sometimes, good things happen,” said Shiv, thankful how from coming close to quitting golf, he racked up three wins in eight months.

“It’s great to win three times on the (Asian) Tour during the season. If 2018 can come close, I’ll be happy.”

Two shots back at the start of the final round, Shiv started well and even took the lead but bogeys on the 13th and 14th raised concern. Disappointed that his two-shot lead had turned into a two-shot deficit, Shiv decided to take “the tournament by the scruff of the neck”, quite like he did on the final day of the Panasonic Open.

“Standing on the 15th tee, I told my caddie we’re not going to go down without a fight. Let’s make birdie here and see what happens or at least give myself a chance going into the last two holes,” said Shiv.

READ | Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar among 5 tied 1st in Royal Cup golf tournament

Sure enough, he birdied the 15th, and got another on the 16th to force a deadlock with Prom Meesawat. The burly Thai was the first to blink as he bogeyed the 17th. From there on, it was about staying steady, which wasn’t a problem for Shiv, given what he had weathered to be where he finds himself.

First Published: Dec 31, 2017 19:18 IST