Golfer Kapur makes US debut
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Golfer Kapur makes US debut

He will share the same field as Atwal, Chopra for the Sony Open in Hawaii.

othersports Updated: Jan 11, 2006 12:07 IST

A year ago, when Arjun Atwal and Daniel Chopra were in Delhi during the Christmas break, Shiv Kapur had just turned pro and used the opportunity to play a practice round with the USPGA Tour stars.

On Thursday, Kapur will be in the same field as Atwal and Chopra when they all tee up for the Sony Open in Hawaii, the season's first full field event which has Vijay Singh as the defending champion.

Atwal, in his third season in the US, has been paired with Alex Cejka and Tom Byrum for the $5.1 million event, while Chopra will play with John Huston and Ryan Moore. In the afternoon session, Kapur will go out with David McKenzie and Jason Schulz.

"It is a great opportunity to be playing on an US Tour event," said Kapur. "The 2005 season has been a dream season. After being so low down after the Singapore Open, I never thought that I would end up fourth on the Order of Merit."

"The 2006 season is starting out great with entries to the Sony Open besides the big money Asian Tour events. The Asian Tour has been so supportive of me. People like Amandeep Johl and our Tour Chief Executive Louis Martin have been very encouraging and helped me when I turned pro.

Spelling out his goals for the season, Kapur said, "I will try and do well this season and aim for a European Tour victory. It is also my goal to try and break into the top-100 of the Official World Golf ranking and maybe aim for the US PGA Tour and eventually contending in the majors."

Adding to the Asian might at the Sony Open is Order of Merit winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2005 with four titles en route to the crown.

Kapur, winner of the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia, and Thaworn were extended invitations to compete by Sony.

The duo will be joined in Hawaii by Arjun Atwal and Korean star Choi Kyung-ju, who both have playing privileges on the UPGA Tour.

Also in the field will be Asian Tour member Kiyoshi Miyazato of Japan, the 2004 Okinawa Open champion, and another Korean, Charlie Wi.

The 39-year-old Thaworn warmed up for his Hawaiian adventure when he competed in the inaugural Royal Trophy on home soil last week in Asia's defeat to Europe.

He picked up two points from three matches, including a 2 & 1 singles victory over former Masters champion Ian Woosnam of Wales.

Atwal picked up two points in the same event, including a singles win over six-time Major winner Nick Faldo.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 12:07 IST