New Delhi: India`s Shiv Kapur will seek a first professional victory at his home course, the Delhi Golf Club, where he tees up in the SAIL-SBI Open golf tournament beginning Wednesday.
Kapur learned the game at the venerable Delhi course when he was a young boy before going on to becoming one of the country`s leading golfers where he has won once on the Asian Tour. The 31-year-old is presently in fine form, winning twice at home over the past three months but it is a victory at the $300,000 SAIL-SBI Open that he is after this week.
"When I was a boy, we had a car sticker that said "DGC - my second home" but it really is my first home," said Kapur, whose lone Asian Tour title came in 2005.
"I remember the days when I was eight or 10 years old and trying to get through the crowds to get a peek at the players. Now, I`m one of them. I`ve never won as a pro on this golf course and I hope to win here. I like to think my chances are good as I kind of know every blade of grass on the golf course and know the lines to take from off the tees," said Kapur, who finished eighth on the Asian Tour`s Order of Merit last season.
Kapur will face a strong field which includes title holder Anirban Lahiri of India, Thailand`s 2009 champion Chapchai Nirat, home favourites Gaganjeet Bhullar and Jyoti Randhawa, American Jonathan Moore and DGC specialist Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, who won twice in India in 2010.
Current Asian Tour number one Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand, who won the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open, is also in the tournament`s elite field, which is part of the Asian Tour`s milestone 10th season celebration this year.
"This is certainly one of our strongest fields ever," said Kapur of the sixth edition of the tournament. "But I do think we`ll get an Indian winner this week. Hopefully it will be me but I know I can`t be pushing too hard as I have often come in my own way in the past to get that win."
Lahiri will make his first start of the year after skipping the Myanmar event two weeks ago. Time off with his family and friends at home have recharged his batteries after a successful 2012 campaign and the 25-year-old is looking forward to retain his title.
"I played in a few fun events at home earlier in the year but it`s fun to get back into the serious tournaments," said Lahiri.
We're building him (RvP) up now because of the World Cup. It’s a pity but we have to or he’ll never be fit.
Louis van Gaal