Kapur leads by four in Dubai, closes in on European card

Dubai: Shiv Kapur installed himself as the firm favourite for the season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour finals with a sensational fightback for a card of five-under 67.

He was spectacular as he recovered from an indifferent start with two bogeys in first four holes to come back with a 67 that put him in a commanding position at 14-under.

He is four shots clear of Will Besseling (68) and five shots ahead of four-man pack in third place. The pack included Andrea Pavan, who was 12-under after 36 holes but dropped down with a 75 in the third.

Kapur started the week in 20th place and needed a strong finish to get into the top-15 and secure his European Tour card for 2014. Kapur has played the least number of events, eight, in the entire field.

He won the first event of the 2013 season on Challenge Tour at the Kensville Challenge in Ahmedabad. But he then played little on Challenge Tour and kept straddling between Asian and European Tour events, where managed some starts.

He was languishing in 36th place two weeks ago. Then he made a dash to the closing run on the Challenge Tour. He finished runner-up at the Foshan City Open in China and rose to 20th on Money List and ensured a spot in 45-man field for the Dubai Festival City finals.

But he then skipped the event in season`s second last event in Oman to go and play the high-profile CIMB Classic, an event co-sanctioned by Asian and PGA Tours. He ended tied 16th and picked up more than $ 110,000, which helped him get into the top-10 of Asian Tour?s Order of Merit.

And now in Dubai he needed a solid finish to get into the elite 15 for a full status next season.

Kapur shot 69 on first day and then followed that with a 66 on second day. On the third day, Kapur once again faced his demons on the third and fourth, both which he bogeyed in second and third rounds.

But then he soared from there with a birdie on sixth, eagle on eighth and another birdie on ninth to move to two-under at the turn.

He then added three more birdies on 10th, 13th and 18th to get to 14-under.

Overnight leader Pavan struggled with four bogeys and a double bogey against three birdies. Pavan was tied third with Jose Felipe-Lima, Andrew Mcarthur and Jamie Leary.

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