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Conditions aid Shiv’s smooth ride

Shiv Kapur got going by taming the tough 1st, and with a 25-footer for birdie on the 3rd, his first this week, he was up and away at Gujarat Kensville Challenge. Robin Bose reports.

other Updated: Feb 03, 2013 01:51 IST
Robin Bose

Probably inappropriate, the poser was nonetheless presented before Shiv Kapur. Chirpy till a moment back, he fell silent.

Lowering the chubby face, he looked down, long and hard. Unable to find an answer, he looked up helplessly and with a shake of the head, replied, “Frankly, I can't remember.”

It's not been often in the recent past that he's gone into the final day with the chance to have a go at the title.

Whenever the occasion has arisen, it has resulted in a futile attempt to play catch up.

So, a four-shot lead, and the course record that came with it, after the penultimate day of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge was a situation that has presented itself in a while.

Hands on the hips, he stood there, almost apologetic for not coming up with a definitive reply, before a voice rang out and ended his predicament.

“Don't bother, it does not matter.”

Indeed, having almost got the proceedings by the “scruff of the neck” at the Kensville Golf and Country Club.

Call it the after-effect of the triumph at the Shubhkamna Champions in Noida last month, the intent on Saturday was to take “charge of his destiny and not leave it to the competitors”.

Marathon run
Pacing himself well — “golf is not a sprint but a marathon”, he says — Shiv was three-under after four holes and six-under after 10.

His campaign, and those of some others, was aided by the benign conditions and pin positions, which he felt were relatively easy for a third day.

Having said so, the job still had to be done. Shiv got going by taming the tough 1st, and with a 25-footer for birdie on the 3rd, his first this week, he was up and away.

The driver striking the ball fluently ensured that the scope for errant tee shots came down, and by the time he picked up another shot on the 14th to be at a blemish-less seven-under 65, Shiv had bettered Agustin Domingo's course record, set on the opening day, by a shot.

No creased brows
He could have plunged lower (on the 17th and 18th) but there were no creased brows at the end.

With him lay the realisation that “there were holes that he could have slipped” but was saved by his accurate striking off the tee.