Kapur notches emotional victory

Indian wins second Asian Tour title of the year at home course

Kapur notches emotional victory

Winning at the Delhi Golf Course was Shiv Kapur's long-nursed dream. For years, he had suffered the heartburn of seeing his mates win at his home course. On Sunday, Kapur finally made his conquest. He fired a final round score of four-under-68 and clinched the Panasonic Open, his first Asian Tour title in India.

Kapur's two previous Asian Tour titles had come in Thailand and Chinese Taipei. He became the sixth Indian to clinch the title in seven editions of the US$400,000 event.

"I grew up playing golf here and told myself I got to win at DGC one day. So no words can actually describe how I'm feeling right now," Kapur said.

It was a thrilling final day of golf where things remained tight till the turn. However, Kapur, with a total of 17-under-271, opened up a three-stroke lead, leaving overnight joint leader Paul Peterson of the USA (71) sharing the second place for 14-under with six Indians -- Chiragh Kumar (64), Ajeetesh Sandhu (65), Karandeep Kochar (66), Sudhir Sharma (69), SSP Chawrasia (69) and Om Prakash Chouhan (69).

Nine Indians finished in the top 10, including Honey Baisoya (68) and Shamim Khan (72). The two finished tied ninth.

Kapur has been a picture of consistency on all four days. He was placed second on the first two days before he climbed a rung to share honours with Peterson on Saturday. He battled nerves ahead of the final round, and by his own admission found his game not at its best. The Delhi golfer, though, dug deep with plenty of pluck and poise and even drew inspiration from Virat Kohli's attitude while watching him bat against New Zealand in the second T20I in Rajkot.  

A bogey on the 10th hole after a birdie on second came as a bit of jolt to Kapur. "Actually, it fired me up," he said. Successive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes adding to two more on the 14th and 15th ensured he broke away from Peterson and the bunch of Indians, who had been snapping at his heels all day long.

As he walked to the final 18th hole amidst warm applause, Kapur was overcome with emotions.

"When I was walking down the 18th, I was really trying to hold back the emotions. I was very aggressive the first few days but I had a pretty conservative strategy today. When I stood at the leaderboard on 14, I said to myself, I got to take the tournament by the throat. I'm not going to play conservatively anymore and I took out my driver," said Kapur.

Peterson, with three birdies and two bogeys, fell behind. There were also a string of low scores from Chiragh, Sandhu and Kochar, but none could catch up with the determined Kapur.

Kapur's win also took him to the top of the Panasonic Open Swing, which spans over five tournaments, of which, this was the second.

 

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