Panasonic Open: Shiv emerges from behind to share top spot

The familiarity of the course brought the best out of Shiv Kapur on Saturday when he sprung into contention by joining Paul Peterson of United States share the top spot in the penultimate round.

A file photo of Shiv Kapur in action.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Shiv Kapur is considered a gritty competitor. The familiarity of the course brought the best out of him on Saturday when he sprung into contention by joining Paul Peterson of United States share the top spot in the penultimate round of the Panasonic Open India here.

Kapur, seeking his maiden title on home course, remarked on the eagle on the 18th, “I was really struggling off the tees and it was a real battle out there. I hit it into the bush on the first and made a bogey. I hit it again into the bush on 11 and made a double there. I am proud of the way I hung in to save pars and that eagle was a great way to end the day.”

Peterson, who began the day as the sole leader, gave an indication of his form with an eagle but fumbled at the second, fourth and ninth hole to end up with bogeys. The American recovered with a birdie on the 14 and an eagle on the 18 to end up with a total of 13-under par 203.

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“I tried to stay patient as best as I could and I am glad it paid off with that eagle again on 18,” Peterson reflected. “I got off to a great start with an eagle and it feels really good to start the round well and end it well too. I’m trying to get my first Asian Tour win and patience will be the key for me tomorrow. There’s no point getting yourself down after hitting a bad shot because the guys playing next to you can easily hit one out as well.”

Shamim Khan, having honed his skills at the DGC, carded 69 to finish at third place. Khan described the day, “It was definitely not my best round of the week but those two birdies, when I converted two long putts from 12 feet and 25 feet on 16th and 17th, kept me in the hunt.”

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SSP Chawrasia, sinking four birdies, three on the last seven holes, found himself clubbed with Om Prakash Chouhan, Mukesh Kumar and Sudhir Sharma. Looking ahead, Chawrasia said, “I’m feeling confident. I’m playing well and I’m looking forward to the final day tomorrow. I know this course well and I’m not too far off the lead. The way I see it, if you can shoot six-under or better, you’ll stand a good chance of winning.”

Thaworn Wiratchant finished the day at 10-under while five others Aman Raj, Karandeep Kochar, Honey Baisoya and Divyanshu Bajaj were placed at 8-under.

Leading scores after 54 holes

203: Shiv Kapur 65, 69, 69, Paul Peterson 69, 64, 70; 204: Shamim Khan 66, 69, 69; 205: Om Prakash Chouhan 70, 69, 66, Sudhir Sharma 69, 70, 66, SSP Chawrasia 67, 69, 69; 208: Sura Yongcharoenchai 73, 71, 64, Aman Raj 66, 73, 69, Karandeep Kochhar 71, 68, 69, Honey Baisoya 69, 68, 71, Divyanshu Bajaj 68, 68, 72; 209: Veer Ahlawat 71, 70, 68, Ajeetesh Sandhu 64, 73, 72.