Monday, Jan 22, 2018 | Last Update : 11:24 PM IST

Royal Cup Golf: Shiv Kapur ends year on high

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 1, 2018, 12:17 am IST
Updated : Jan 1, 2018, 12:20 am IST

Meesawat said, “It was a good battle with Shiv. He was playing well and I simply made more mistakes. He deserved to win.”

Shiv Kapur poses with the trophy after winning the Royal Cup in Pattaya, Thailand, on Sunday. This was Shiv’s third Asian Tour title of the year.
 Shiv Kapur poses with the trophy after winning the Royal Cup in Pattaya, Thailand, on Sunday. This was Shiv’s third Asian Tour title of the year.

New Delhi: Shiv Kapur shot a stunning four-under-67 to claim his third Asian Tour title of the year, winning the Royal Cup in Pattaya, Thailand, on Sunday. The 35-year-old, who had just one win in almost 11 years till April this year, has now won thrice in the last eight months.

It was a close battle between Kapur and overnight leader Prom Meesawat of Thailand but the former came through a see-saw battle and shot four-under 67 to finish at 14-under. Meesawat (70) was at 13-under.

Making it a great week for Indian golf was Gaganjeet Bhullar (66), who was sole third at 11-under 273, while Khalin Joshi (67) was sole sixth at 8-under 276. Jyoti Randhawa (72) was tied 41st at one-over 285.

Kapur first won on Asian Tour in his debut season in December 2005, but it took more than 11 years and four months for the next Asian Tour title, which came in April 2017.

This latest title marks Kapur’s fourth Asian Tour win and sixth international title — he won twice on the European Challenge Tour too. Kapur, the only multiple winner on the Asian Tour this year, is also the only Indian to have won three titles on the Asian Tour.

Kapur, who had 19 birdies against five bogeys this week, earlier clinched the Yeangder Heritage and the Panasonic Open India titles this season. “It was a see-saw battle indeed. I had to come out fighting straight out of the blocks. I made two birdies in my first three holes and that reversed Prom’s advantage. It doesn’t always go to plan, but luckily I started well and he made a bogey on the second hole and before I knew it, I was leading the tournament,” Kapur said.

With four holes remaining, Kapur mounted yet another challenge.

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

“The birdie there (on the 15th) got me back into the tournament. I had a good up and down on the 17th and Prom kind of handed me the tournament as he three putted there. At the 18th, I thought he was a bit unluckily. Prom is a steely competitor and I’m lucky to come out on top.”

After holding a share of the lead for first two rounds, Kapur fell back by two to Meesawat after the third round.

On Saturday, Kapur said he needed a fast start to challenge the Thai. He did just that with a three-under front nine, while Meesawat traded three birdies with three bogeys to play the front nine on even par.

Meesawat said, “It was a good battle with Shiv. He was playing well and I simply made more mistakes. He deserved to win.”

Bhullar said, “I had a good tournament. I didn’t prepare much as I came straight from my wedding. Today was particularly good. I holed a lot of good putts and gave myself good opportunities.”

Tags: shiv kapur, royal cup golf