Shiv Kapur targets Indian Open golf with aggressive approach
Shiv Kapur is one of top Indian contenders at the Indian Open golf. Kapur had a phenomenal 2017 season, which saw him win thrice on the Asian Tourother sports Updated: Mar 06, 2018 18:17 IST
Form is relative for Shiv Kapur, as getting better at golf matters more. After the phenomenal 2017 season, which saw him win thrice on the Asian Tour, Shiv knows that much as he would like a repeat of the year gone by, replication is tough. “It would be unfair to compare the form of one season to the other. The aim is to get better and if that can be achieved, I don’t mind even if I don’t win.”
An exception though is this week’s Hero Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club, which for him is the “most important event after the Majors”.
If last year was about breaking barriers --- ending the prolonged title drought and also winning on his home course (Panasonic Open at the Delhi Golf Club), Shiv has promised himself a couple of things this time as well. “For long, I’ve said what this event (the national Open) means to me and winning it in a city I grew up would get another “monkey off the back”.
Freed of the baggage he was carrying for long (of not having won), the task would have been simpler had the Indian Open happened at its traditional venue, given his familiarity with DGC. But Shiv is up for the test. The redrawing of some of the tees may have reduced the options (to strategise) but that’s an advantage, according to him. “It makes it easier and opens up scoring opportunities,” he said.
Irrespective of the changes, the course remains a “tough if not unfair test of the mind and skill”, and a game-plan has been prepared. Compared to last year when he missed cut, a more aggressive approach will be adopted. “That may lead to a few more bogeys but will also mean more birdies. It’s better than aiming for par and finding yourself over-par after a while,” said Shiv, fit after a back problem which forced him out of golf for a brief while.
While winning this week will certainly tick a box, fatherhood has changed the way he perceives happenings on the golf course. Returning from a wedding in Lucknow, the olden days would have taken him to the golf course from the airport. This time, he drove home to meet his seven-month-old daughter before travelling to the golf course. “Earlier, golf was my life but now it’s a part of life,” he said.
Hero Indian Open factfile
Dates: 8-11 March
Venue: DLF Golf and Country Club, Gurgaon
Prize money: $1.75 million
Defending champion: SSP Chawrasia
Indian contenders: Shubhankar Sharma, Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Kapur, Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jyoti Randhawa
Key international players: Joost Luiten, Julian Suri, Chris Wood, Andrew Johnston, Emiliano Grillo, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn.