By Asian Tour
The 35-year-old Kapur fired with a sparkling eight-under-par 64 highlighted by eight birdies – five of which came in his closing seven holes – to emerge victorious at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
With a winning total of 16-under-par 272, Kapur defeated Malaysian rising star Gavin Green (67) and overnight leader Yikeun Chang of Korea (68) by two shots at the National Golf Country Club.
Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand carded a 67 to end his campaign in fourth place while Poom Saksansin (68) and Miguel Tabuena (68) of the Philippines finished a further shot back in fifth place.
Kapur, who won the 2002 Asian Games individual gold medal in Korea, started the final round two shots back of the lead but a hot homeward stretch earned him a well-deserved victory.
Did you know?
· Kapur birdied the par-five 13th hole for four consecutive days. During the week, he shot 22 birdies against six bogeys. He earned US$54,000 for his victory.
· His final round eight-under-par 64 was the low round score of the week.
· Kapur ended the round in sensational style, holing a tricky seven feet downhill birdie putt on the 18th hole to the delight of the crowd. He needed only 24 putts today.
· The victory was especially sweet for Kapur as his first Asian Tour title came in his rookie season in December, 2005. He was also named the Asian Tour Rookie of the Year in that same season.
· In September last year, Kapur went for a liver surgery and returned in mid-December after resting for three months. Before the surgery, he lost his European Tour card.
· At the age of 35, Kapur was the oldest player in the final three groups today. The eight other players in those groups were aged between 21 to 23.
· Kapur is the third Indian player to win in Chinese Taipei since 2004. Gaurav Ghei won at the 2006 Mercuries Taiwan Masters and Gaganjeet Bhullar was victorious at the 2012 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.
· Green was bogey-free for the second consecutive day. This is his second runner-up finish since the Hero Indian Open in March.
· He birdied the 18th hole from inside 10-feet and the second place finish which was worth US$25,950 moved him to fourth place on the Order of Merit.
· Chang claimed his best result on the Asian Tour. He was disappointed to birdie only two of the four par fives which he said was key to a good score at the National Golf Country Club.
What’s in the winner’s bag?
Driver: TaylorMade M2 9.5* Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD M 9003 6 S
Fairway1: TaylorMade M2 15* Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 75 X
Hb/Ut1: TaylorMade M1 (2017) Rescue 17* Shaft: Mitsubishi-Rayon Diamana D+ 90 X
Irons: TaylorMade Psi (3-P) Shaft: FST KBS Tour
Wedge1: Cleveland RTX-3 52*
Wedge2: Cleveland RTX-3 58*
Putter: PING Anser 2 TR 1966
Ball: Titleist Pro V1 x 17
Shiv Kapur (Ind) – Final Round 64 (-8), Total 272 (-16)
This win means a lot to me. Honestly it hasn’t sunk in yet because I’m still in a bit of a daze. It has been a frustrating last couple of years so it is nice to be back where I belong. There are so many good talents on the Asian Tour and it is getting harder and harder to win each year. To win the way I did is just very satisfying.
There is a certain calmness on the golf course. It think that helped me and it also helped because I was not playing in the last group. That gave me an opportunity to just go and make birdies. I looked at the leaderboard on the 17th hole and I was already 15-under and two ahead.
I came close on 17 and hit a great drive and second shot on the 18th hole. I had a downhill seven feet birdie putt on the last and made that. I can look back and say I did this right but you need some luck to win.
I really struggled last year. I came back from a liver surgery in September and was lying on a hospital bed. It was frustrating because you couldn’t play. Now I’ve come back after six months and to win the way I did is satisfying. When you are away from the game, it gives you doubts about yourself especially when things are not going your way. This win comes at the right time.
It has been a long time since I won on the Asian Tour. It has been such a long wait but you tend to appreciate it more. You will have questions and doubts from yourself and other people but I answered those questions more to myself than anybody else with this win.
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 as well and the older guys were chasing me down. Now I’m the old guy! I played with Gavin Green in the third round and I can’t talk enough about what a great player he is. Today I played with two young Thai players so there are a lot of talent on the Asian Tour.
It is becoming harder and harder to win. The young kids come into tournaments to win. They come through the ADT system and that’s such a great platform for them to learn how to win. When they come out on the Asian Tour, it is not a big surprise to them anymore.
Gavin Green (Mas) – Final Round 67 (-5), Total 274 (-14)
There’s nothing to be disappointed. Not at all. I was bogey-free again so I cannot complain. I made a couple of big saves and holed some but Shiv (Kapur) played well. He has experience, he’s been there be for. Hats off to him.
I’m happy the way I handled the pressure in the final group and being able what to do and what to expect. I had a lot of fun playing with Miguel (Tabuena) and Yikeun (Chang). We were all feeding off each other. There’s nothing to be disappointed with a second place result.
Experience has to play a huge part in Shiv’s win. All you can do is learn. I played with him in the third round and he hit the ball really good.
Today, I said let’s give myself 18 looks for birdies and I did a good job. If I keep knocking on the door, sooner or later it will open. I will keep going, keep practising and hopefully I win a big one.
I didn’t look at the leadeboard until the 17th hole. I told myself I won’t be leaderboard watching today. I played my own game and when I saw it, I told myself ‘oh Shiv, not you again, come on!’ After that I knew we were only fighting for second place. I made a good birdie on the last hole (six feet downhill). If you told me earlier today that I would finish second place, I would take that.
Yikeun Chang (Kor) – Final Round 68 (-4), Total 274 (-14)
I didn’t take advantage of the par fives. My goal was to try and avoid the bogeys and birdie the par fives which I did on two holes.
I was trying to go for that eagle on the 18th hole because I knew I needed that to force a play-off. I thought I hit it pretty good but it is what it is. Trying to hole an 85-yard shot is not easy. If I tried it with a thousand balls, I would probably make one.
I’m trying to take some positive stuff out of this week. I did a lot of good things. The experience will obviously help me a lot. Next time when I have an opportunity to win, I will pull it off.
Scores after round 4 of the Yeangder Heritage being played at the par 72, 7014 Yards National GcC course (am - denotes amateur):
272 - Shiv KAPUR (IND) 71-70-67-64.
274 - Gavin GREEN (MAS) 71-70-66-67, Yikeun CHANG (KOR) 72-66-68-68.
275 - Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-70-68-67.
276 - Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 72-69-67-68, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 72-70-66-68.
277 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 74-69-67-67, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 72-67-70-68, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 68-73-68-68, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 71-67-70-69.
278 - John CATLIN (USA) 72-68-71-67, Keith HORNE (RSA) 72-68-70-68, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 69-69-70-70.
279 - Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 77-69-65-68.
280 - K. P. LIN (TPE) 75-69-71-65, Chanachok DEJPIRATANAMONGKOL (THA) 73-71-69-67, Jarin TODD (USA) 71-72-68-69.
281 - Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 70-73-70-68.
282 - LU Chien-soon (TPE) 75-71-68-68, Danny CHIA (MAS) 72-71-71-68, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 70-72-68-72.