Chonburi (Thailand): Indian golfer Shiv
Kapur overcame a stomach bug to shoot a brilliant six-under 66
to lie tied second after the first round of the Open
Championship International Final Qualifying Asia on Thursday.
The Delhi golfer, who had a top 10 finish at the Avantha
Masters, shares the second spot with Bangladeshi sensation
Siddikur Rahman and Korea`s Lee Sung-Man, a deaf-born golfer
who started having the ability to hear after having an implant
surgically placed in his right ear last November.
Among other Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar carded two-under
70 for a tied 24th place, while Himmat Rai was tied 35 after
turning in one-under 71.
However, it was Japan`s Kodai Ichihara who enjoyed the
first round lead with a seven-under-par 65 at Amata Spring
Country Club here.
The home charge was carried by Prom Meesawat, who fired a
solid 67 which was matched by Korean duo Kim Hyung-sung and
Liang Wen-chong, China`s first Asian Tour number one in
2007, Japanese Yoshinobu Tsukada, home stars Pariya
Junhasavasdikul, Prayad Marksaeng and Chinnarat Phadungsil,
Australian Gavin Flint, England`s Miles Tunnicliff and
Singapore`s Lam Chih Bing cards matching 68s to stay in the
hunt for the four tickets to The Open.
Kapur, the man who pipped Lee for the last ticket five
years ago, contemplated withdrawing after falling ill
overnight but produced one of the best rounds of the day.
"I`ve been sick as a dog and on the way to the club this
morning, I thought there was no way I could play. Since I was
already here, I decided to give it a go and once I got into a
playing mode, I forgot about being sick and carried on playing
one shot at a time," Kapur said.
"My caddie (Neeraj Sareen) also reminded me of the old
saying at the start of the day and I didn`t think about
anything. I was seven under through 14 holes and it seems that
I`ve got a chance now. I was lucky to get in 18 holes," said
the Indian, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour.
The British Open Championship will take place at Royal St
George`s from July 14-17.