Panasonic Open: Newly-married Kapur shoots 68, lies tied 9th

Kapur, four-under through 16 holes after starting from the 10th dropped a late bogey on 17th and finished at 68 at the par-71 at the Chiba Country Club.

Shiv Kapur got married earlier this month.   -  Getty Images

Shiv Kapur, playing his first round since his marriage earlier this month opened with a solid three-under 68 in tied ninth place in the first round of the Panasonic Open Golf Championship here today.

Kapur, four-under through 16 holes after starting from the 10th dropped a late bogey on 17th and finished at 68 at the par-71 at the Chiba Country Club.

He was the best placed Indians. The next best Indian was Rahil Gangjee, who has been steady right from the start of the year. Gangjee was two-under with five birdies against three bogeys and he was placed T-13.

Jyoti Randhawa (72) making a return after five months injury break was T-42, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (73) was T-63 and Jeev Milkha Singh (74) and Chiragh Kumar were T-88 and Himmat Rai shot 75 to be T-103rd.

After enjoying marital bliss in early April, Shiv Kapur of India fired 68 to trail the leader by three shots in the 150 million Yen (approx. US$1.27 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

“I played pretty solid. I made only one bogey from one bad swing. I was in between clubs and the wind was gusting. Other than that, I played solid and hit a lot of fairways and greens,” said Kapur. “It got breezy towards the end of my round so I think we had the best of the conditions. You have to take advantage of the good conditions.”

He added, “I like this golf course, it suits my eye. I grew up on tree-lined golf courses so I feel comfortable when I stand on the tee. I’ve had a month off and had some rest in the system but it is always nice to get it out of the way.”

Talking of his marriage, he said, “I got married early this month so that’s why I’ve been away from golf. The marriage and honeymoon was obviously important. I only did some practice last week to prepare for this week. I had quite a big break so the body and mind are quite fresh.

“I got married on April 3 to Maya in Bali, Indonesia so it has been a good year so far. Getting married is really a blessing. I feel like I’m in a good place in my personal life. My golf game just needs to get a notch better and I’ll be very, very happy.”

Meanwhile, Jason Knutzon of the United States overcame a hip injury to shoot a five-under-par 66 and trail first round leader Ryutaro Nagano of Japan by one shot.

Knutzon, a two-time Asian Tour winner but not since 2007, produced a flawless round which was matched by Nagano, who continued his fine form, after posting a third place result in Japan last week.

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