IOA's handling of suspension issue biggest shame: Kapur
Ace Indian golfer Shiv Kapur has described the ongoing impasse between International Olympic Committee and Indian Olympic Association as the "biggest shame" and said he feels "extremely sad" at the way the IOA was handling the issue of its suspension by the world body.
"I feel extremely sad. I have signed the petition which was started by Abhinav Bindra and I have also sent it to 1000 people. I think sports should not suffer because of politics. It is a biggest shame," Kapur told reporters here.
"Golf is becoming an Olympic sport in 2016. It is a big step. It has been my dream to win an Olympic gold as I had also won Asian Games gold in 2002. It is a big opportunity," he added.
The 31-year-old Kapur is one of the finest golfers in the country and he showed that once again at the British Open when he made his first ever cut at a major tournament in July.
"It was a great learning experience. I was lucky I could play my best golf with the world watching. It was a proud moment for me to see my name at the leaderboard and I hope next time I can win the title," he said at the sidelines of the launch of Ballantine team-Am Golf Challenge 4 to be held in Vietnam.
Asked about India not hosting the only European tour event -- Avantha Masters next year along with the Kensville Challenge tour, Kapur said: "It was unfortunate and a big setback but it would be unfair to expect people to shell out so much money at a time when the rupee is dwindling.
"It will make it a bit difficult for Indian golfers to qualify for European tour but then it is just one tournament and to qualify one needs to be more consistent. I am sure we will tide over this bad time and may be if not European tour event, we might have a PGA tour event too in India. People are very interested to have a PGA tour event in India," he said.
However, Kapur, who was the brain behind the inaugural Golf Premier League, said if the current economic situation continues then he would also have to think about the sustainibility of GPL next year.
"The way rupee is slipping, I guess, I also have to take a hard look at the 2014 Golf Premier League. There are many people involved and I think it will be unfair to expect that the franchises will keep investing such huge sum of money," he said.
Asked about his next tournaments, the 2005 Volvo Masters winner said: "I skipped KLM open in The Netherlands and will also not play in Italian Open in Turin and will be playing in Kazakhstan Open, it is the biggest tournament in the European challenge tour.
"After that I am playing in Japan, Afghanistan, Taiwan, then taking the week off and if I stay in top 10 of the Asian money list, I will be playing in CIMB classic in Kuala Lumpur and then the grand final in Dubai at the challenge tour and after that it is the Indian Open," he added.
"I think my game is in progress. I am happy with it but I want it to be more consistent. I want to build on the Open Championship performance. It gave me the belief that if I can lead an Open, I can go the distance one day," he said.
"I am playing 2-3 more in challenge tour. The top 15 gets the European card and the next 15 gets conditional status. My goal is to go up in the world ranking and I want to improve as a golfer and whereever I am playing, I want to compete," said Kapur, who is currently 35th in the challenger tour ranking.
Kapur had won the Gujarat Kensville Challenge to kick off this season. In December, last year, the Delhi golfer had clinched the inaugural Shubhkamna Championship.