Ahmedabad, Jan 13 (IANS) Shiv Kapur is hoping to take advantage of tips given to him by his good friend and senior colleague Jeev Milkha Singh at Gujarat Kensville Challenge golf.
Kapur confirmed his participation in the season-opening Gujarat Kensville Challenge as top-drawer golf kick-starts in India with the euros 200,000 European Challenge Tour event in the bustling western metropolis.
‘When we were travelling 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.
Kapur, who turns 29 next month, said: ‘Time sure flies. 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 tournament here.’
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 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.’
Apart from defending champion Bhullar, another big challenger will be 22-year-old Peter Uihlein, referred to as the next Tiger Woods. Uihlein is making his pro debut at the event.
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.