CHENNAI: Just as it seemed he was fading out, Shiv Kapur has grabbed a lifeline. The Yeangder Heritage title in Chinese Taipei on Sunday was not only his first on the Asian Tour in 12 years, but also a reminder that after battling illness and form, Kapur is back.
World No 143 at the start of 2014, who was building a reputation of doing well at the Majors, Kapur had a liver surgery last year. A dip in performance before that had seen him lose his European Tour card. Even 2017 started on an indifferent note, as he missed cut in three of his first six outings, with a tied 12th as best.
All that changed in National Golf Club in Miaoli, Chinese Taipei, as the 35-year-old returned a bogey-free final round of eight-under 64. It lifted him from tied third overnight to the top spot with a two-shot lead. Kpaur’s first win in Asia after one in 2005 earned him a cheque for $54,000 (`34.7 lakh).
“This win means a lot to me. It hasn’t sunk in yet because I’m still in a bit of a daze. It was a frustrating last couple of years, so it’s nice to be back where I belong. There are so many good talents on the Asian Tour and it’s getting harder and harder to win each year,” said Kapur, in a release from the Professional Golf Tour of India.
“After you haven’t won for so long, you might think that the best is behind you. When I first won, I was in my early 20s and the older guys were chasing me down. Now I’m the old guy! There is a certain calmness on the golf course. It think that helped and it also helped that I wasn’t playing in the last group.”
Sujjan Singh and Himmat Rai were the next best Indians, at tied 22nd with five-under 283. Among other Indians, S Chikkarangappa (68) finished tied 27th, Khalin Joshi tied 39th and Rahil Gangjee tied 52nd. Chiragh Kumar was tied 60th.