Dubai-based Shiv Kapur leads Asian tour in Chinese Taipei
Dubai-based Shiv Kapur took the lead in the $700,000 Yeangder TPC on Thursday by carding a brilliant eight-under-par 64 on day one, in an event that marks the first time in three years that the Asian Tour has hosted Chinese Taipei because of the Visited Covid-19 Pandemic. 19 pandemic.
The four-time Asian Tour winner smashed the course with an eagle, eight birdies and just two bogeys at Taipei’s Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
China-Taipei’s irrepressible star Chan Shih-chang and Malaysia’s Ben Leong finished with 66s, while Ajeetesh Sandhu of India and Prom Messawat of Thailand, both former winners of this event, fired 67s, along with Nitithorn Thippong of Thailand , a two-time champion season, Lu Sun-yi of Chinese Taipei, an amateur, Lee Chieh-po and Lin Keng-wei, and Miguel Carballo of Argentina.
Trust Caddy’s knowledge
“I was putting really well, I have a local caddy out there whose name is Su [Su Ching-hong, a National team player]arranged for me by James Chan [Chan Shih-chang] and the Tour and he reads the greens really well so I just trust him,” said Kapur, who won the 2017 Yeangder Heritage here at the Asian Tour in Chinese Taipei.
“I’ve always struggled for the greens here after all these years, but I’m potting putts and he was a big help today.”
The Kapur round started with 10, but his game really got going on his back nine when he snatched the first before birdie on the next four.
The Indian added: “The season has been a bit lackluster so far, struggling with injuries mid-season. My game was tight but it was very frustrating. I made a lot of cuts but didn’t play well over the weekend. I feel like I was close and I was looking for a low lap and I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
The Indian star suffered a foot injury and was out for five weeks mid-season but thankfully didn’t miss too many events as it was the summer.
“I was trying to equalize and that’s how I lost my momentum a bit. I feel like it’s coming back towards the business end of the season, two good weeks here will set me up for the rest of the year,” he said.
Chan is his country’s leading player, ranked 21st on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, and has been in brilliant form since the Asian Tour restarted late last year when he won the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship, which was the tour’s first event. He also won the Royal’s Cup that season in Thailand for his fourth Tour win.
A first Asian Tour win on home soil is high on his list of priorities, and that goal started well on Thursday with a round of seven birdies and a drop shot, with a lot of help from his experienced caddy.
scramble for positions
Two weeks ago, Leong was running after a 65 in the third round at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Japan, but disappointingly fell back on the final day with a 10-stroke down result. He recorded seven birdies and one bogey today.
Sandhu won here in 2017 and despite a solid start he felt there was still work to be done. As the tour’s notable players jostled for places, attention also turned to Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Cheng-wei. The 14-year-old amateur, whose home course is this week’s venue, scored an impressive 69, including birdies on the first three holes. It surpassed his best on-court score by a shot.
Shiv’s second round start time is 12:20 before the 1st tee in Match 31 with partners Rory Hie (Singapore) and amateur Ratchanon Chantananuwat (Thailand) shooting 71 at 51st and 72 at 66th respectively.