Patience pays for Kapur, moves to second in Pattaya

Shiv Kapur, who is the defending champion, started the day six behind leader Justin Harding (71) but finished two adrift, as he carded 3-under 67.

Shiv Kapur Royal Cup 2018 Pattaya

Shiv Kapur birdied three times in last five holes on the third day of the Royal Cup.   -  AFP

Shiv Kapur reaped the benefits of staying patient as he birdied three times in last five holes to close the gap between him and the leader at the end of the third day of Royal Cup at Pattaya on Saturday.

Kapur, who is the defending champion, started the day six behind leader Justin Harding (71) but finished two adrift, as he carded 3-under 67. Kapur is now second and 9-under 201 to Harding’s 11-under 199.

Gaganjeet Bhullar also made a move up into the Top-10 as he registered 1-under 69 to get to 5-under 205 and was tied at 9th place. Bhullar had one birdie and 17 pars.

Among other Indians, Viraj Madappa (69) is 2-under and T-24, while Honey Baisoya (72) and S Chikkarangappa (67) are 1-under and T-30. Himmat Rai (70) and Khalin Joshi (71) are even par through 54 holes and T-38th and Rashid Khan (72) is 4-over and T-63.

Early this morning when the second round was completed, Chiragh Kumar, Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa missed the cut.

Kapur, speaking on the third round and the conditions said, “It was just one of those days where you stay patient when the conditions are tough and you get rewarded.”

Gangjee to lead Indian charge at inaugural Louis Philippe Cup

Seasoned Indian golf professional Rahil Gangjee, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, will be leading the Indian charge at the inaugural Louis Philippe Cup 2018, starting here on July 31.

The Kolkata-bred and Bengaluru-based pro won his second career Asian Tour event this year, winning the USD 1.37 million Panansonic Open Golf Championship in Ibaraki, Japan, back in April.

The win netted him a purse of USD 283,018 and has seen him catapult to the top of the Habitat for Humanity Asian Tour Order of Merit rankings, where he is currently placed at fifth position with yearly earnings of USD 290,425 million thus far.

The Louis Philippe Cup 2018 will see 132 golfers, including 60 foreign golfers from 20 different countries tee-off at the Prestige Golfshire.

“It was a pretty good round, conditions were tough with swirly winds and moving in a different direction from the past two rounds. The greens got firmer and it was tough to hold the ball on the greens and tougher to hole putts.”

On his own momentum towards the end of the round, he added, “Nothing much was happening up till hole 14 when I made a good putt to get some momentum going. Had a good chip on hole 16 to make birdie and on 17 I holed a 30-footer for birdie again.

“I am happy with the way I finished since all the action happened for me on the last five holes.”

Kapur ended an 11-year and four months wait for a second Asian Tour title at the 2017 Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei. He added two more victories that year including the Royal Cup. He is looking to defend his title for the first time in his career.

Overnight leader Harding of South Africa battled to a one-over-par 71 to stay atop the leaderboard. The 32-year-old Harding reeled in 17 straight pars before dropping his first bogey of the week on the 54th hole, reducing his overnight lead to two after compiling a three-day total of 11-under-par 199 at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

Harding hit 12 fairways and made 15 greens but struggled with his putter on Saturday with 34 putts in his third round.