Shiv Kapur learnt the virtue of being patient as he ended his seven-year title drought with a fabulous three-stroke win over Daniel Chopra on the third and final day of the inaugural Shubhkamna Champions event at the Noida Golf Course here on Sunday.
Overnight joint-second, Kapur, who was two strokes away from leader Chopra, gave a commanding performance to card a seven-under final round for a total of 17-under 199. Kapur’s effort was good enough to spoil Chopra’s 39 birthday party.
After a three-hour delayed start due to fog and poor visibility, the race for the title was on an even keel when Kapur gained a shot and Chopra dropped one on the first hole.
Kapur had a fantastic front nine, where he collected four more birdies, before he saw off a difficult phase to stay in contention. The 30-year-old missed a short birdie putt on the 10 before bogeying the 11.
He held his nerve to save par on the 12. “Back-to-back bogeys may have spoilt the momentum, but I managed to hold on,” said Kapur, describing the 12 hole as the turning point.
With a little bit of sledging going on between the two, Kapur, who birdied the 14, used the knowledge he had gathered from his rival to execute an exquisite low approach shot from the trees to gain a stroke on the 15. It put pressure on Chopra, who sunk his third bogey of the day on the next hole.
Kapur extended his lead by picking up another birdie on 17 and sealing victory. “It feels absolutely great to end the year with a win and get the monkey off the back considering it has been seven years since I won in Thailand in 2005 (Volvo Masters of Asia),” said Kapur, who bagged the winner’s purse of Rs 10,80,000.
Gaganjeet Bhullar, the third player in the lead group, shot 73 and ended the week with a nine-under 207. Mukesh Kumar and Jyoti Randhawa were fourth at 208, while Anirban Lahiri dropped from overnight fourth to ninth at five-under 211.
Meanwhile, the host of the event, Jeev Milkha Singh, who finished 13, donated his prize money (Rs. 1, 46,400) to the Delhi gangrape victim.
The scores: Shiv Kapur (68, 66, 65) 199; Daniel Chopra (64, 68, 70) 202; Gaganjeet Bhullar (67, 67, 73) 207; Mukesh Kumar (68, 71, 69) and Jyoti Randhawa (68, 73, 67) 208; Zamal Hossain Mollah (70, 70, 69) and Abhijit Singh Chadha (69, 70, 70) 209; Shamim Khan (72, 67, 71) 210; Anirban Lahiri (69, 66, 76) 211; Arjun Atwal (70, 70, 72) 212.