Dubai-based Indian Kapur returns to Thailand with fond memories

Eleven Indians in the field for Royal’s Cup



Dubai-based Indian Shiv Kapur. — AFP
Dubai-based Indian Shiv Kapur. — AFP

By PTI

Published: Wed 23 Feb 2022, 11:55 PM

He has enjoyed some of the most memorable moments of his career here and Indian golfer Shiv Kapur would hope that Thailand remains his happy hunting ground when he, along with 10 of his compatriots, tees up at the $400,000 Royal’s Cup starting on Thursday. Kapur, who turned 40 two weeks back, has twice won in Thailand and twice lost play-offs.

The Asian Tour, which started the 2022 season with the Saudi International, has back-to-back events in Thailand starting this week.

First is the Royal’s Cup followed by the International Series, Bangkok at Hua Hin with a $1.5 million purse.

Two weeks after that, the Tour will move to India for the inaugural DGC Open presented by MasterCard.

Apart from Kapur, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Rashid Khan, S Chikkarangappa, Viraj Madappa, Khalin Joshi, Rahil Gangjee, Veer Ahlawat, Aman Raj, Aadil Bedi and Honey Baisoya will also be presenting the Indian challenge at the event this weekend.

It was back in 2005 that Kapur won in Thailand for his maiden Asian Tour title at the Volvo Masters in his rookie year.

It took him another 12 years to win again and that was in 2017 — a year in which he won three times.

He won Yeangder Heritage in Taiwan and the Panasonic Open in India at his home club, the Delhi Golf Club, and then closed the year with a win at the Royal’s Cup, an event which had the same name as this week’s Royal’s Cup but was not part of the Tour.

“Anytime you win the King’s trophy in Thailand, it’s very special. I remember having my whole family there, my daughter was quite young, and my parents were also there that week.

“I remember having a tough battle with Prom (Meesawat) down the stretch. I was lucky to come out on top that time. We have had some great battles in the past from my junior days to my amateur days and to come out on top was pretty special and it was a great way to end that 2017 season for me,” he recalled fondly.

On how he is feeling ahead of the tournament this weekend Kapur, who won the Jeev Invitational on the Indian domestic Tour in November 2021, added, “I am quite relaxed actually. I have had unusual preparation, I went sky diving last week, and it could not have been different weather.

“I had a pretty hectic start to the year so I thought it would be nice to kick back and relax and come in with a different mindset.”

This week he has his coach Shane Gillespie on the back.

“He’s been with me just over five years. Obviously, through the pandemic we weren’t able to see each other as much but he’s here for these two weeks and then he will follow me to Delhi Golf Club, so we get some good time together,” Kapur said.

“I put in a lot of effort during the time off. I have been in the gym even though it may not show, trying to get fitter and stay injury free. I have done some pretty good work on my game.

“I have not had the wins. But put myself in position, but not been able to close at the weekend, that would be something I would like to change. I am treating this week like it’s a new season,” he said.

Kapur, who is now based in Dubai, also has a house in Bulgaria besides Delhi.


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