Kapur cherishes the season of joy

This one week, Shiv Kapur is happy to admit, his thoughts won’t entirely be on the tournament he is playing. Back home in Delhi, his wife Maya is expecting their first child, and Kapur is prepared to fly out at a moment's notice. “I have her on emergency dial,” he grins. “The doctor has said 10 days, but you never know.”

Shiv Kapur at the KGA ahead of the TAKE Solutions Masters.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

This one week, Shiv Kapur is happy to admit, his thoughts won’t entirely be on the tournament he is playing. Back home in Delhi, his wife Maya is expecting their first child, and Kapur is prepared to fly out at a moment's notice. “I have her on emergency dial,” he grins. “The doctor has said 10 days, but you never know.”

This has been a season of joy for Kapur. In April, he broke a trophy drought on the Asian Tour that stretched back some 11 years. The relief was enormously sweet. “It felt like a big load had been lifted,” he says. “Going into that week, I was really dejected, just having missed the cut in Japan the week before. You start questioning yourself: Do I really want to continue playing golf like this? Then you win and it's suddenly a new spark of life.”

Last year, he underwent surgery on the liver that put him out of action for a few months. Returning was harder than he imagined. “I underestimated it,” he says. “I thought it was a routine surgery but I got really weak: my legs, all my abdominal muscles...In hindsight I should've waited to grow stronger. But I wouldn't value the win as much if I hadn't been through this.”

As he eyes a second win of the year at the TAKE Solutions Masters, there is no remedy for a slump in form, Kapur believes, except victory. “Everyone can sit there and tell you about magic formulas and mantras and say 'I did yoga'. I've been doing that for 11 years; there's no difference,” he laughs. “It takes results to get that validation for yourself. You can keep working hard but if you don't do well, you get frustrated. That's when you second guess yourself. Every athlete goes through it, even cricketers. I spoke to a lot of them. The same ball which you nick to the keeper, you hit for six when you're feeling confident.”