Having been winless since eight years,Shiv Kapurs golf routine of putting in long hours,rising to contention during the weekend rounds and then falling out of the podium had started to seem a drill too familiar. But with two titles in the past three months,31-year-old Kapur has a confident gait at the Delhi Golf Club,his home course,which hosts the SAIL-SBI Open from Wednesday. The $300,000 Asian Tour event is in its sixth consecutive edition and Kapur is hoping he can keep his good form going by picking the title here.
Throughout my career,even as a junior,I have never won at DGC. The desperation probably shows as each time I play here I have very high expectations and things tend to go wrong. But now that I have a couple of tournament wins (Kensville Challenge and the Jeev Milkha Invitational),I have the belief that you can make mistakes and still win here, he said.
When I was growing up,we had a car sticker which said DGC is our second home. Over the years it became my first home because I would spend more time here than living at my place. The only thing left is to win here. Its probably like when Sachin (Tendulkar) walks out to bat at Wankhede,he wants a century there,so I am waiting for my 100 at DGC, he says. If not me I would be rooting for an Indian to win this week. That local hope could be 25-year-old Anirban Lahiri,who is the defending champion. Though Lahiri missed out on a back-to-back spot at the The Open through the Asia qualifying last week,he does not see it as a reflection of his form. I dont have any nerves about being the defending champion. My strategies are in place, Lahiri says.
Thumbs down to Driver
One of those is to not use the driver on this course. I think I have made that a rule of thumb. Retire the driver on this course till I retire. But Lahiri is not the only one who knows the trick. Over the years,pros like Thailands Chapchai Nirat,Swedens Rikard Karlberg,who has won two Asian Tour events on this course and Bangladeshs Siddikur have become quite familiar with the conditions here and will pose a challenge to the likes of Gaganjeet Bhullar,SSP Chowrasia and Shamim Khan,who are frequent visitors to the DGC.