Siem Reap (Cambodia): Shiv Kapur, who last won more than six years ago in his rookie year in 2005, is hoping that a meditation course he undertook last fortnight will once again get him back to winning ways as he tees up at the inaugural Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic from Wednesday.
Kapur is among the group of five Indians, who tee up this week alongside Himmat Rai, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Sujjan Singh and Feroz Ali. Also in the field is Kunal Bhasin, an Australian of Indian origin.
"I`ve just been on a five-day meditation course about 10 days ago and then played in a local team event last week. All in all, the game has been steady. I`ve been getting anxious with the lack of results and I thought I`d do some work with the mind a bit," said Kapur.
"I did different kind of meditations in Pune. I realised and learned that I was getting anxious and too result orientated. I know we`re judged by the results but sometimes, you just have to stick to the processes and carry on doing that," he added.
Interestingly Kapur`s friend and fellow Indian golfer, Anirban Lahiri had also undergone a meditation course, though slightly different. It resulted in Lahiri winning the SBI-SAIL Open and also the British Open qualifying Tournament to make it to the Open at Royal Lytham.
Speaking on the meditation stint, Kapur said, "The whole concept of doing that (meditation) was to get out of my own way and let things happen rather than forcing them to happen.
"I attended group classes and I chose a course which covered a few areas. I did something on Zen on the mind, which can be related to golf, did some dynamic meditation which is related to breathing, something where we had to walk with the eyes shut and also the darkness meditation where you sit in a dark room with your eyes opened and then trying to meditate."
Kapur, who has come close to winning on many times in the last six years but fallen just short at the final stages, said meditation is not just good from golf point of view but also from lifestyle point of view.
“All in all it was very interesting not just from a golf point of view but a lifestyle point of view. Hopefully it can transfer on to my golf.
"I like Cambodia. I`ve enjoyed the place. I want to play as much as I can on the Asian Tour. I`m quite dedicated to playing 12 to 14 events this year. This is a great place and I have done well here in the past," said Kapur.
Another player looking to breaking his title drought is Thailand`s Prom Meesawat, who feels the idea of simply enjoying his golf will lead him back to the winner`s circle.
Besides Kapur, the burly Thai starts as one of the favourites at the highly-rated Angkor Golf Resort where other Asian Tour stars include the in-form Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Australia`s Scott Barr, Daisuke Maruyama of Japan and exciting Thai duo Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Chapchai Nirat, two of the longest drivers in Asia.
Six players, led by third-ranked Prom, from the top-10 of the Asian Tour`s Order of Merit have made their way to the historical city of Siem Reap with no fewer than 30 other winners joining this week`s elite field.
Prom`s lone victory came in 2006 and he seeks to end his title drought at the Cambodian Classic. He lost in a play-off to India`s Anirban Lahiri at the SAIL-SBI Open in India several weeks ago and was tied for sixth place in the Avantha Masters, also in India.
"Two good weeks in India have made my game a lot easier for the rest of the year. The work that I`ve put in with my sports psychologist has helped a lot. Mentally, I`ve got stronger," said the 26-year-old Prom, who currently is 27-under-par for the season which is the lowest on Tour.
Veteran Mardan could be the man standing in Prom`s way. The 44-year-old Singaporean has hit a purple patch, first ending a six-year winless run at the ICTSI Philippine Open last month and in the past two weeks, he successfully earned his third British Open appearance through qualifying in Thailand and also won on the Asian Development Tour in Malaysia with an 18-under-par winning total.