Bengaluru: Shiv Kapur of India hopes to make it a double celebration by winning the inaugural TAKE Solutions Masters before welcoming the arrival of his new born baby next week.
Kapur admits that his focus will be divided towards trying to win the US$300,000 Asian Tour event and to the wellbeing of his wife, who is due in the next 10 days or earlier.
It has been a satisfying season so far for the Indian, who won his second Asian Tour title at the Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei in April after waiting for more than 11 years. He also played in The Open two weeks ago and missed the cut by a single shot.
Panuphol Pittayarat hopes to ride on the good memories of finishing third at the Karnataka Golf Association Golf Course in 2012. The bubbly Thai missed out on a play-off by a single shot but said that the result has helped him improve in his career.
At the age of 24, Panuphol is determined to win his first Asian Tour title this week after playing on the Asian Tour for eight seasons.
Globe trotter Liu Yan Wei of China hopes the experience of playing in France, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Germany in the last few weeks will help him in his quest to lift a first Asian Tour victory this week.
Did you know?
- Shiv Kapur’s second Asian Tour win came 11 years and four months after his first win in 2005. In that same year, he was also named Rookie of the Year on the Asian Tour.
- Kapur went through a liver surgery in October last year and returned in December, a decision which he regrets as he wasn’t fully recovered. In 2016, he also lost his card on the European Tour.
- Four weeks after winning in Chinese Taipei, Kapur capped a second place finish at the Thailand Open, an important result for the Indian, who proved that his win wasn’t a flash in the pan.
- Kapur enjoyed a stellar amateur career where the main highlight was winning the 2002 Asian Games individual gold medal in Korea.
- Panuphol played in the 2012 Hero Indian Open as a 19-year-old where he finished in third place. This will be his eighth season on the Asian Tour.
- The Thai is currently ranked 11th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit thanks to two fourth place results and one top-10 finish.
- Panuphol had to rush for his pro-am after receiving a phone call 10 minutes before his tee off. He arrived from Bangkok at 2am Monday morning and had only three hours of sleep before playing today.
- In the last few weeks, Liu Yan Wei has travelled to France, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Germany before arriving in India this week.
- Liu was in contention on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in Malaysia last month before finishing in fourth place.
- The TAKE Solutions Masters was previously held on the ADT in 2014 and 2015. It is the second tournament to be upgraded to the Asian Tour.
Shiv Kapur (Ind)
My wife has been very cooperative, she told me to come and play this week even though we will be expecting our first child next week. My phone will be on standby just in case I have to go back and enjoy the birth of our first child. My wife is in emergency dial and in case I have to go back, I’ll go back to the baby.
(On his win in Chinese Taipei) It is amazing how a week can change everything. Going into that week I was dejected because I missed the cut in Japan. You have doubts creeping in your mind when you are not playing well but after you win, everything looks good and not negative.
(On the second place finish in the Thailand Open) I took a week off and finished second in Thailand Open. That was a tough week mentally for me because I’m going into the event as a favourite and not an underdog. You don’t people to think that the win was just a flash in the pan. It was good that I finished well in Thailand, won The Open qualifier and had some good results in Europe.
(On his liver surgery last year) I underestimated the surgery and thought it would be fine but my muscles were weak. I really wanted to play but I should have waited. I returned earlier and I wasn’t hitting it as long as I wanted to. It is a lesson to be learnt. In a way it worked out quite well because I wouldn’t have cherished the win as much as I would if all those things didn’t happen to me.
Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha)
I ran to my tee and reached five minutes before my tee time. The golf course is in very good shape. The fairways are awesome and the greens are rolling really well.
I bogeyed the 18th hole and Thaworn (Wiratchant) and Richie Ramsay entered the play-off. Finishing third at the Hero Indian Open in 2012 is one of my highlights in my career. It was one of my great weeks and I picked up quite a big pay cheque!
When I played in the pro-am this morning, I relived all those shots and memories from five years ago. I hope to have the same feeling again this week. I still remember the shot I missed or the shot I made.
(On making bogey on the last hole in 2012) It thought me a big lesson. Coming down the 18th hole, just don’t chicken or freak out! It gave me a lot of experience and I worked harder from there.
This year has been a very good year. Hopefully I can hold on to my form. I’m feeling very good with my golf game.
I got into the hotel at 2am and woke up at 7.50am from a phone call telling me that I will be late for my tee time. Somehow I had it in my mind that I was playing the pro-am on Wednesday.
Winning is the only thing I’ve been missing on the Asian Tour. If I keep working hard, the big win is around the corner. I’ll definitely grab one soon but no rush. I was on Tour since I was 17 and I feel like a veteran. I
Liu Yan Wei (Chn)
I like the course. It is a tight course and it is in good condition. If you drive straight, you will do well here.
I’m playing some decent golf but I’ve been travelling a lot so I’m a bit tired. Hopefully I can have a good weekend here.
In the last few weeks I played in different conditions so that gives me more experience. Last week it was very windy in Germany so that’s good practice. When you play in different conditions, it definitely helps your game.
I was in contention on the ADT a few weeks ago and if I’m in that situation again, I will handle it better. Hopefully I play better this week to be in contention again. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself but I’ll just focus on my preparation and do my best.