Panasonic Golf: Shiv Kapur breaks a 'hoodoo', wins on home course

Watched by his family, Kapur won his second title of the year, the third Asian Tour and the fifth international title. A single shot separated the leaders at the top of the leaderboard at the turn but Kapur fired four birdies on 11, 12, 14 and 15 to emerge the winner.

Golfer Shiv Kapur poses with the trophy after winning the Panasonic Open India tournament at the Delhi Golf Club on Sunday.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

Shiv Kapur’s articulate assessment of the triumph matched his golfing eloquence as he celebrated the $400,000 Panasonic Open Golf crown here on Sunday.

The maiden title on home course underlined the 35-year-old’s ability to conquer the demons that had plagued his campaigns in the past at the Delhi Golf Club, a course he feels “nobody is safe on to lead.

A three-stroke victory after being 17-under 271 for four rounds earned Kapur an emotional triumph, worth $72,000, before his friends and family following a four-under 68 on the final day.

READ: Aditi wins in Abu Dhabi for her third LET title

Nine Indians figured in the top ten. Six Indians were tied for second at 14-under — Chiragh Kumar (64), Ajeetesh Sandhu (65), Karandeep Kochar (66), SSP Chawrasia (69), Om Prakash Chouhan (69), Sudhir Sharma (69) and Paul Peterson (71) while Shamim Khan (72) and Honey Baisoya (68) were tied ninth.

It has taken Kapur long to make a mark at the DGC. There have been wins earlier too but this one stays special. “I have waited a long time to win here. I don’t think I played my best golf. But I take a lot of positives from the win. I may have played better had I been fit. I was not happy with the swing but it feels nice when everyone around is expecting you to win. I feel there is good golf left in me,” said a beaming Kapur on his notable achievement. It was his third Asian Tour win, the second this year.

Kapur trailed Ajeetesh Sandhu by a stroke on the opening day and finished the next round with a solo second place. He gave indications of a turnaround when he shared the lead with Paul Peterson of United States in the penultimate round before producing his natural prowess — aggression.

Reflecting on the run up to the final day, Kapur confessed, “I didn’t sleep very well last night — woke up at 2 in the morning. But I found I was pretty calm on the golf course. It had eluded me earlier. I would push too hard in the past. I stayed relaxed this time. I did feel the nerves but managed to overcome them in a very positive manner.”

ALSO READ: Tiger Woods wants ball changes to avoid 8,000-yard courses

Kapur found time to watch some cricket last night. There was something he carried to the course from that game. He admired the manner in which Virat Kohli takes on the opposition from the first ball he faces. So, Kapur shed all apprehensions and dug deep into resources as he headed towards a much-awaited accomplishment — a title at the DGC.

Twenty-one birdies and an eagle marked his victory. “I managed to limit the damage. Told myself to keep my head down and keep going. This course keeps you on your toes and there can be trouble everywhere. So, there’s lot of relief,” Kapur averred.

SCORES

Shiv Kapur 271 ( 65, 69, 69, 68); 274 Chiragh Kumar (68, 71, 71, 64), Ajeetesh Sandhu (64, 73, 72, 65 ), Karandeep Kochhar (7,1 68, 69, 66), SSP Chawrasia (67, 69, 69, 69), Sudhir Sharma (69, 70, 66, 69), Om Prakash Choudhan (70, 69, 66, 69), Paul Peterson (69, 64, 70, 71), Honey Baisoya (69, 68, 71, 68);  276 Shamim Khan (66, 69, 69, 72, Prom Meesawat (69, 71, 71, 67).