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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Shiv Kapur utilises familiarity and confidence to clinch Panasonic Open golf title

Shiv Kapur achieved his lifelong dream of winning at the Delhi Golf Club when he won the Panasonic Open India golf tournament with a final round four-under-par 68 on Sunday.

other-sports Updated: Nov 06, 2017 12:18 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shiv Kapur poses with the trophy after winning the Panasonic Open golf tournament in New Delhi.
Shiv Kapur poses with the trophy after winning the Panasonic Open golf tournament in New Delhi.(PTI)

Shiv Kapur won the Panasonic Open alright, but what’s it with the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) that thrusts the unheralded into the spotlight? Is it familiarity, confidence, or maybe both? Those involved in Sunday’s gallant display would have an answer, but having Shiv tip his hat was testimony to the heart on display through the week.

Sudhir Sharma, struggling to keep his card on the Professional Golf Tour of India, Karandeep Kochhar, a lanky 18-year-old, and Om Prakash Chouhan, better placed in terms of results, perhaps played the best golf of their career to finish three shots behind. The monetary gains are there but more telling will be the lessons carried forth.

Sunday wasn’t a one-off incident. It was here almost a decade ago that SSP Chawrasia got to know he was good enough for an international win. Last year, Mukesh Kumar, reluctant to cross the shores despite a prolific record at home, became the oldest winner of this $400,000 event and Asian Tour at 51.

As for Shiv, it was a continuation of breaking the mould. “I always dreamt of winning but never got far enough in my dreams.” The win in April (Yeander Heritage) after a gap reversed that to an extent, and by the end of Sunday he was “lost for words”.

READ | Shiv Kapur takes inspiration from Virat Kohli, wants to clear Yo-Yo test

It wasn’t a restful night, waking up at 2am “with all sorts of thoughts”. Feeding daughter Veda and playing with her toys helped, but the one-shot lead meant nerves, which were assuaged somewhat by the birdie on the 2nd.

Being in contention did lead to conservative play, but not for long as the bogey on the 10th, not exactly his fault, brought back his natural instinct. “The three putt fired me up and I told myself now was the time to get going and take the tournament by the scruff of the neck.” By taking the call, he also braced up for a possible backlash on this unforgiving course.

It was to his advantage that Sunday’s bunched-up leaderboard helped deflect the focus off scores. Playing “match-play” with the course and not the leader group, Shiv rested his case with four birdies after that blip.

Another monkey was off the back. Watching peers and friends win at his home course had hurt, and when that’s the case, a way out is found.

The lead built up, but did not mean taking the foot off the pedal. Only after the second shot landed on the 18th fairway did he congratulate himself softly. Set up for birdie, he managed par, but that putt wiped the pain accrued over the years. If some remained, it was taken care of by the cocktail on the 18th green.

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 20:00 IST

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