Ahmedabad: After seven years in wilderness, Indian golfer Shiv Kapur on Sunday notched up his second successive title, winning the third edition of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge golf by two strokes. Going into the final round with a lead of four shots, Kapur suffered an early wobble, before steadying himself to bring home a card of one-under 71 to set a tournament record total of 14-under 274 here.
Kapur, who had set a new course of 65 in the third round, was two storkes ahead of Andrew McArthur, who aggregated 12-under 276 at the Kensville Golf and Country Club. Four-time Challenge Tour winner, Philip Archer (69), who at one stage came within one shot of Kapur, ended third at 11-under 277.
Kapur thus became the second Indian winner of the Kensville Challenge after Gaganjeet Bhullar in 2011 and Rahil Gangjee was runner-up last year. There was more good news for the Indians as veteran Mukesh Kumar (69) sank three birdies in last five holes to get into a tie for fifth place at seven-under 281, while last year's runner-up Gangjee (69) and the 2011 Kensville champion, Bhullar (70), shared eighth place.
Kapur received a cheque of Euros 32,000, while McArthur picked up Euros 22,000 and Archer got Euros 14,000. Mukesh Kumar received Euros 9,000 and Gangjee and Bhullar took home Euros 4,700 each. The prizes were given by Sameer Sinha, Jaxay Shah, Jigish Shah, Rajan Ghai and Inder Talwar.
Minutes after coming off the 18th green, Kapur remarked, "Maybe with two wins in as many starts, I have got two monkeys off my back." He had won the Shubhkamna Champions title in December and now the Kensville Challenge. "I have had a lot on my mind, while planning and getting ready for the Pearl Golf Premier League and this win does give a great feel. Maybe I am good at multi-tasking."
Later speaking on his day, Kapur said, "I started with 2 bogeys and made it tougher for myself and obviously both Phil and Andrew played great, Phil played well at the start and Andrew made a late charge, so they made it hard for me and in a way I made it hard for myself with the start I got off to."
"But never at any point did I feel out of control or I couldn't get it back or any dire straits. I felt pretty comfortable, I knew I was playing well. In a four round tournament you are bound to have few bad holes, but I was playing well enough to bounce back from that and I had two good birdies on 4 and 5 and still Phil kept coming back at me with few birdies but I think I played steady golf on back nine and I didn't make any mistakes and in a way in charge of my own destiny."
Describing his round, Kapur said, "The start was shaky, had a bad trip on the first hole, bogeyed that, I actually thought that I had a pretty good shot on the second but had a bad bounce and over the green, had a decent chip but misread the putt, it was bogey-bogey and from there I was just gathering myself."
"The fourth hole I made a really good putt which kind of settled the nerves a bit and got some momentum back in the round. I think one of the best shot was the fifth hole tee shot, it was a really tough pin, but I hit to about two feet, and that sort of gave me the cushion again.
"Seventh hole I had a bad first putt, woefully short, three putted and Phil made a birdie there and closed the gap and on the back nine my birdie came on the 12th, I got a really good wedge, to about four feet but still was not easy, it was a very crucial putt at that time because Phil and Andrew being one ahead and two ahead and that gave me some more comfort.
"The 14th was probably the shot of the day, the second shot, it was a very very small target that you can aim at, the way the green is set up, I had a perfect cut three wood, exactly within two feet of where I was aiming and made a birdie there and I think till that point the most important point for me. In the 17th after Andrew made his birdie, the power putt from about 7 feet was crucial to hold the two shot lead."
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