Shiv Kapur: ‘It’s a tough golf course, not unfair’

Seasoned pro Shiv Kapur, who is familiar with the DLF Golf and Country Club course, feels some of the changes to the course (compared to last year) have actually made it easier when it comes to decision-making.

Shiv Kapur speaking ahead of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open at the DLF Golf and Country Club at Gurugram, on Tuesday.

Many golfers feel that the tough course at DLF Golf and Country Club here looks tougher due to the changes made ahead of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open, beginning on Thursday. However, seasoned pro Shiv Kapur, a three-time winner and familiar with the course here, has a different take.

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“It’s a tough golf course here, but it’s not unfair. Some of the changes here (compared to last year) have actually made it easier when it comes to decision-making. For instance, at the 15th, this year, we won’t be able to aim for the green. We will all be laying-up at the same spot. Similarly, at the 17th, lengthening means you can’t aim to hit your ball to the other side of the fairway. Lengthening a golf course doesn’t always make it harder.”

Looking at the field in 2018 and his maiden National Open, Kapur said, “The field is fantastic. It’s good to see Indians being mentioned as contenders. The international field is very strong, as well, so the Indians will find it difficult to retain the title.”

For the Bristol-based, six-feet-six-inch tall, Chris Wood, 30, the way to win this title is to beat defending champion S.S.P. Chowrasia.

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Talking about the five-feet four-inch Indian, the three-time champion, on the European Tour, said: “I mean, he wins everywhere in India. I’ve just been told that the “cut” last year was 7-over par, so I sort of thought that if you were around level par you’re probably not going to be too far off, but he ran away with it last year. He’s certainly somebody that you want to beat, but I’ve only just got to stand next to him and try to intimidate him a little bit with our height difference.”

Another European Tour regular, Andrew Johnston, 29, will make his debut in the country, eying his second Tour title. The affable, burly and bearded professional was candid while looking ahead to his goals.

“Really, it’s to get another win on the board. Obviously, I want to be in the top-60 to play in the final Race to Dubai tournaments. I played well at the start of the year, so I’ve just got to keep that going.”

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