Tamsui, Chinese Taipei: Shiv Kapur of India is raring to return to winning ways at the US$800,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters after spending two weeks on the sick bed.
The 35-year-old recovered from dengue fever after resting at home but took comfort that he could spend valuable family time with his new born daughter, Veda. He admits that he is low on energy levels but is still excited to contend at the event which starts on Thursday.
Following his win in Chinese Taipei in April, Kapur will be aiming for another victory in the country to give himself a chance to qualify for the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. He is currently ranked 16th on the Order of Merit and needs good finishes in the next two weeks to break into the top-10.
After finishing second in Japan last week, Poom Saksansin of Thailand hopes to continue his fine form in his debut appearance at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
Malaysia’s Danny Chia will return to the scene of his victory in 2015. He has not enjoyed the best season so far but hopes to turn the corner after making a slight change in his backswing.
More than 30 Asian Tour winners and six Order of Merit champions will headline the Mercuries Taiwan Masters this week.
Did you know?
- Kapur is playing in his first tournament after recovering from dengue fever. He was out of action for two weeks. He was only diagnosed with dengue fever after returning from the Omega European Masters where he played through the illness and finished tied 20th.
- Currently ranked 16th on the Order of Merit, the Indian needs two good weeks to stand a chance of qualifying for the CIMB Classic. Slightly more than US$26,000 separates Kapur and the final spot for the event.
- Kapur won his second Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei in April. It was his first win in 11 years on the region’s premier Tour.
- Poom is one of the most consistent players on the Asian Tour this year. He only missed one cut in 12 events where he has won and finished runner-up in Japan last week.
- He missed out on a chance to win his third Asian Tour title last week, losing to eventual winner Daisuke Kataoka by two shots.
- Ranked seventh on the Order of Merit, Poom is likely to qualify for the CIMB Classic but he is still fighting for a spot in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. The leading four players on the Order of Merit as of October 16 earn a spot in the year’s final World Golf Championship tournament.
- Chia has two top-10s on the Asian Tour. He is ranked 50th on the Order of Merit and needs to finish inside the top-60 on the final Order of Merit to save his Tour card for 2018. His winner’s exemption from winning the 2015 Mercuries Taiwan Masters ends this year.
- Since winning the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, Chia has only recorded five top-10 results. He hopes to turn the corner this week.
- Chia’s two wins on the Asian Tour both came in Chinese Taipei in 2002 and 2015.
Shiv Kapur (Ind)
It has been some good and bad. My baby girl has been amazing. The plus side of having dengue is that I could be at home with my daughter. I played in Switzerland through it and I didn’t know I had dengue fever until I got back to Delhi.
I spend the last two weeks in bed and hit the ball for the first time on Sunday before coming here. I’m feeling a bit tired and weary but I’m really raring to go. Watching guys go past me by on the Order of Merit has been frustrating so I’m hoping to get back in the mix this week.
It was one of my goals to get into the CIMB Classic this year. I played golf long enough to know that it only takes one week. I’m playing this week and next and if I can find some form and play well, those things will take care of themselves.
I’m not feeling as strong and not hitting the ball the same distances before falling ill. I have to adjust to that. The one plus point is that I’m eager to play. I’m obviously rusty and out of match practice but in this game when your expectations are low, that’s usually when you play well.
This is a very Indian style golf course. You can expect the Indian boys to do well on these grainy greens.
My schedule is a bit different. I’m the guy who plays 30 or 35 weeks a year. I’ve cut down quite a bit. I typically don’t play more than three weeks in a row and the balance between golf and the family has to come at some point.
Poom Saksansin (Tha)
I finished second last week so that’s a good result for me coming into this week. Yes, I feel a little bit sad that I didn’t win but I have another chance this week. In golf you can make mistakes and I made a big one in Japan. I hope to learn from that.
I never think about CIMB Classic before but now I have a good chance to play. I try to play well this week and next week.
My game is good. I’m feeling confident and I think I’m in good form. You need to be very patient on this course because it is very difficult to put your ball on the fairway. If your ball is not on the fairway, it is very difficult to attack the greens.
I’ve never played here before. This is my first time. Many golfers have told me that this is a very difficult course. No one has ever said it is an easy course and after playing here, I trust them!
Danny Chia (Mas)
It feels great to be back here. I have a lot of friends here and I love the food here and the golf course has been kind to me. It is a bit on the hot side but the golf course is in great condition.
I know the course very well and that gives me an ease of mind. For me, it really depends on how my putting will be. It feels great to return to the course where you won before.
I haven’t been feeling comfortable with my back swing in the last two weeks. But my friend in Taipei helped me and I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with my swing now. I hope it makes me more consistent.
This year has been a bit of an up and down year. I’ve been thinking a bit too much about my swing which I shouldn’t. I feel there’s a need for me to do something about it so I keep on doing it. Now I’m feeling more comfortable so hopefully it helps me to a good week.