Hyogo (Japan): Indian golfer Shiv Kapur picked up the biggest cheque of the year after finishing tied fourth with a superb four-under 67 in the final round of the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open here on Sunday.
Kapur picked up a cheque of USD 80,000 after finishing with a four-day total of 13-under 271, ending four behind the leader.
He had rounds of 67, 68, 69 and 67 at the USD 1.9 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
The second top-five finish of the season for Kapur also more than doubled his earnings this year on the Asian Tour. It also brought him up from 22nd to 11th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit for the year.
"I'm pretty happy. It is nice to string four good rounds together. I've been up there on the leaderboard lately and had something to prove to myself. I wanted to carry the form for four rounds," Kapur said.
"Being on the leaderboard and not finishing the job has been disappointing but this week was nice. I played really nice but unfortunately the putt on the last didn't drop. But this is golf and we accept it. It's nice to be up there and have the juices flowing.
"I was solid. I bogeyed the first and then played really good golf. I gave myself a lot of chances. For the first time this week, I felt comfortable off the tees which is nice. They say better late than never," he added.
Even as Kapur rose from overnight 11th to fourth, his playing partner and Asian Tour rookie Masanori Kobayashi produced a stunning front nine of seven-under 28 enroute to a nine-under 62 and won the title on home soil.
Kobayashi was one shot ahead of Koumei Oda (67), who bogeyed the 17th and missed a chance to get into a play-off.
Things were not so great for the other Indians, as Jeev Milkha Singh (72) was tied 51st, Chiragh Kumar (77) dropped to tied 68th and SSP Chowrasia (74) was tied 70th.
Overnight leader Masamichi Uehira (72) of Japan ended third while Kapur, Juvic Pagunsan (71) and Tomohiro Kondo (70) shared fourth place after shooting a 67 and 71 respectively.
Kapur and Kobayashi played together and seemed to feed off each other for some time before the Japanese ran away.
Kapur had five birdies and one bogey in his 67.
On playing with Kobayishi, Kapur said, "It was nice playing with Masanori Kobayashi, who shot 62. We were trying to match each other shot-for-shot. He kind of got hot in the middle and ran away from me.
"My personal goal was to get to 15 or 16-under. I thought if I do that, then I might have a chance and I came up just short. All in all I played well and this is not the last week of the year. I'll play in Europe then go to Macau."
Kobayashi matched the second best nine hole score of seven-under-par 28 on the Asian Tour for nine-under-par 62 and a winning total of 17-under-par 267
Kobayashi, who earned his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in Thailand earlier this year, had five birdies and one eagle on the front nine followed by three birdies and one bogey on the back.
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