Perth International: Shiv Kapur shoots 66, lies second

Proving right the adage ‘Beware the wounded golfer’, Kapur needed a physio and a few pills before the first round to tee up, but then came back with six birdies against no bogeys.

Shiv Kapur of India plays his second shot on the 7th hole during day one of the 2016 Perth International at Lake Karrinyup GC in Perth, Australia.   -  Getty Images

Indian golfer Shiv Kapur overcame a shoulder trouble to return with a bogey-free six-under 66 to lie Tied 2nd after the opening day of the AUD 1.75 million ISPS Handa Perth International here today.

Proving right the adage ‘Beware the wounded golfer’, Kapur needed a physio and a few pills before the first round to tee up, but then came back with six birdies against no bogeys.

“I have a strain in my supraspinatus, which in layman’s terms, is the muscle that connects the neck to the shoulder,” said Kapur.

“It actually happened just lifting my golf bag off the carousel a couple of weeks ago.”

Of the other Indians, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Chiragh Kumar, both former runner-ups at Hero Indian Open, were tied 33rd at one-under 71 each.

After teeing off from tenth, Chawrasia seemed to be going great guns at four-under through 13 holes, before stumbling to a bogey and a double bogey on his 14th and 15th, which were the fifth and sixth of the Lake Karrinyup Country Club. He ended with a one-under 71.

Starting on tenth, Chiragh was two-under through 12 and then bogeyed his 13th, the fourth hole of the course. He parred the rest for a 71.

The rest of the Indians struggled, as Arjun Atwal (73) was Tied—67th, Himmat Rai (74) was Tied—92nd, Jeev Milkha Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar both 77 were further down at 137th.

Kapur, who will also be taking part in the Hero Indian Open next month, said, “It’s funny how you go in the gym and you play golf and you do all these things and you don’t get injured, and the littlest thing happened when you travel. We obviously load our golf bags up with a lot of stuff.”

Despite working with the physio and chiropractor, Kapur was affected at the top of his swing, but that did not hamper his scoring. “It got better as I warmed up, but the first few shots that I hit, I couldn’t really hold the club at the top of my backswing. It seemed to get better.”

Back on one of his favourite courses, American Peter Uihlein played a brilliant first round to take the lead.

Teeing off in the afternoon, Uihlein stunned with his 7-under 65 scored in challenging wind conditions.

Assured that he wouldn’t do any further damage, Kapur teed it up adopting a one shot at a time mentality.

“I’ve checked with the physios and the chiro, and they said it’s not really going to do me any damage if I play, but it’s not going to heal,” continued Kapur.

“As long as I’m in a position where I can swing a golf club, I’m going to keep playing.

“And like I was saying, sometimes when you drop the expectations and you don’t really think about a golf swing, you’re just trying to get it around and play one shot at a time, the old clinch golf, it seems to work pretty well.”

American Peter Uihlein said: “Playing out here, it’s always a treat and it’s one of my favourite courses,” said Uihlein. “It is an Alister Mackenzie course, and we don’t really get that many courses in America — obviously we’ve got Augusta and then Cypress, but we don’t really get to play his courses that often.”

Kapur was joined in Tied-2nd by Frenchman Romain Wattel (66). Sitting outright fourth after the first round is Rhein Gibson who fired 5-under 67 the day after flying into Perth from the PGA Tour.

A group of seven players — all shot opening rounds of 4-under 68 to be tied 5th. They are Brett Rumford (AUS), Cormac Sharvin (NIR), Scott Arnold (AUS), Anthony Houston (AUS), Todd Sinnott (AUS) and Nick Cullen (AUS).

The ISPS Handa Perth International is the only golf tournament in Australia to be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour.