For a long time, this is seriously going to hurt Shiv Kapur.
Not because he finished tied runner-up for the second successive week, but for the manner in which he blew away a one-stroke lead on the 18th tee-box and handed on a platter, the Panasonic Open title to South Korea’s Kim Joo Hyung.
On a bright and breezy day, Kapur, at 14-under, looked set to become the first two-time winner of this USD 400,000 event. But on the final hole, Kapur sent the ball ‘out of bounds’ (OB) and lost two strokes. Further, on the green, Kapur missed a 20 feet bogey-putt needed to force a play-off.
At this point, Hyung, having finished five groups ahead of Kapur at 13-under 203, celebrated with his father and friends behind the 18th green. After all, it signalled his maiden win that made Hyung the second youngest winner behind Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadugsil on the Tour at 17 years and 149 days!
Overnight tied-11th, Hyung led at -13, following a 65 before Kapur moved ahead with a 14th-hole birdie.
For Kapur, the horrendous tee-shot on the 18th cost dearly. In fact, in terms of money, the mishit was worth USD 37,400! From being so close to getting the winner’s purse of USD 72,000, Kapur eventually received USD 34,600 — as much as S. Chikkarangappa did for sharing the second spot.
Unfortunately, the drama at the finish pushed Chikkarangappa’s 67 into the background. This week, on the par-5s alone, this Bangalore pro was 10-under!
Dream comes true
With an understandably-gutted Kapur, now a nine-time runner-up, staying away from the waiting mediapersons, Hyung, a three-time winner on the Asian Development Tour, held the spotlight. “It was a dream to win on the Asian Tour. Today, the dream came true. My parents have worked very hard to get me here. I still have to go far from here,” said the champion, who was a score-boy in the Philippines on the Asian Tour three years ago.
“When I shot a 65 today to give myself a chance to win, I was tied for lead with Shiv. But once Shiv took the lead, I was not sure. I guess, I am lucky to win.”
- 203 - Kim Joo Hyung (Kor) (70, 68, 65);
- 204 - S. Chikkarangappa (69, 68, 67), Shiv Kapur (67, 67, 70);
- 205 - Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) (66, 68, 71);
- 206 - Rory Hie (Ina) (70, 68, 68), Vikrant Chopra (67, 70, 69), Hung Chien-Yao (Tpe) (67, 69, 70);
- 208 - Sattee Prakongvech (Tha) (70, 69, 69), Veer Ahlawat (69, 69, 70) and Siddikur Rahman (Ban) (59, 67, 72).
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