Ahmedabad: Top Indian Professional golfer Shiv Kapur Singh is hopeful that the words of wisdom given to him by his senior colleague and good friend Jeev Milkha Singh would be advantageous for him and would look to use them at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge later this month.
Kapur confirmed his participation in the season-opening Gujarat Kensville Challenge to be played at Jeev’s first signature golf course the Kensville Country and Golf Club. The tournament is Euros 200,000 European Challenge Tour event and is a great way to start the Indian golfing calendar.
“When we were traveling together in Europe, Jeev often used to talk about this course he was working on in Ahmedabad. And all that talk has given me a good idea of the layout and the challenge it presents. He has always been excited about the course and I am looking forward to using those tips from Jeev at this new championship course,” said Kapur.
Sameer Sinha, MD Savvy Group, the promoters of Kensville, welcomed the confirmation of Kapur’s participation. “The addition of Shiv Kapur to the field is terrific. Shiv is a tremendous talent and has achieved a lot despite his young age. I am glad that he will be able to make it this year,” said Sinha, himself a keen golfer.
“Last year when we had the inaugural edition of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge, the professionals, from India, Asia and Europe were very pleased with the challenge the course presented. We have made a few changes to the course and I am sure the pros will love it. For us, this tournament is also about showcasing Gujarat and India, and it also Indian golfers a huge opportunity to play at home in a world-class event against a top-class field.”
Kapur who turns 29 next month, said, “Time sure flies. It seems like yesterday that I made my pro debut in 2004 and suddenly seven years have flown by. I have had my highs and lows, but there is a lot I want to do in my career. I am looking at this season, starting with the Gujarat Kensville Challenge as the start of a new phase in my career.”
Kapur, winner of the Asian Games gold medal back in 2002, turned professional in late 2004. In his first full season on the Asian Tour, he won the high-profile Volvo Masters of Asia title in Bangkok and the Rookie of the Year award. “That (win in Bangkok in 2005) was a terrific start for a 22-year-old. I got into the European Tour a year or so later and I played there for six years. I came close to my maiden win on the European Tour more than once, including losing a tight play-off in South Africa,” recalls Kapur.
“Last year my indifferent form saw me miss my European card, though I will be getting about 18 starts as the year progresses. Right now I am looking at the Kensville to put me back on the track. It is a good prize money event with a lot of good names, many of the Indians, including (Gaganjeet) Bhullar and Himmat (Rai) and the likes of Peter Uihlein, who last year was World No. 1 amateur.”
Kapur, added, “I have never started the season at home, so that’s a big thing. It is also my first Challenge Tour and I see it as a matter great pride that we also have a Challenge Tour event in India and I will be making my debut in it at home. I am looking at it as good launching pad for 2012.”
Kapur has been working on fitness with his trainer and also been practicing his short game and putting. He said, “I will be using a long putter and it will be a good test at Kensville.”
On the course, Kapur added, “I have heard a lot of complimentary things about the course from those who have played it and from Jeev. I believe it is very challenging and I am looking forward to it. I will be getting there on Monday and will get a couple of practice rounds before the Pro-Am.”
The 2011 staging of the Euros 200,000 event was the first-ever European Challenge Tour event to be held in India, and was won by India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, who beat off a strong challenge to take the Euros 32,000 first prize.
Apart from Bhullar, who is set to return to defend his title, another big challenger will be the 22-year-old Peter Uihlein, referred to as the next Tiger Woods. Uihlein is making his pro debut at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge.
Other leading Indians in the field will be Himmat Rai, winner of the 2011 ISPS Handa Singapore Classic; Chiragh Kumar, winner of the 2011 PGTI Order of Merit, Manav Jaini, runner-up at the Panasonic Open in 2011 and Gaurav Ghei, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour.
The event is co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour and the Indian domestic Tour, the Professional Golf Tour of India.
By Indian Sports News Network