Shiv Kapur set to make cut at The Open
Muirfield : After a stunning start in the tournament, ace Indian golfer Shiv Kapur found the going tough as he returned with eight bogeys and two birdies in the second round but still set to make the cut in the 142nd Open Championships here today.
Kapur returned for a six-over 77 in the second round and at three-over for two rounds, he is expected to stay for the weekend. He will be somewhere in the upper half of the pack after the cut is made.
He was tied for 39th after his round and the cut looked likely at five or six-over.
Kapur will become only the fourth Indian after Jyoti Randhawa (2004), Anirban Lahiri (2012) and Jeev Milkha Singh (2012) to make the cut at the British Open. Only Jeev has made the cut at the other three Majors, too.
Kapur, who had stunned the golfing world with six birdies in first seven holes, saw the other side, the cruel one of the Majors, as he was four-over after six.
"Today the wind was totally opposite. So when you`re standing on the tees you`re trying go to figure out -- it`s a lot of guesswork," he said.
"For example on the 9th hole today I`ve hit 3-iron off the tee. I`ve hit 3-iron, 6-iron. And yesterday I`ve hit driver, 2-iron, 8-iron, you know. So it`s completely a different golf course," said Kapur of the conditions.
Yet, instead of simply melting down as many do, Kapur just hung on grimly.
He managed birdies on ninth and 12th, but also gave away bogeys on 10th and 13th.
But, he was still four-over for the day and one-over for the tournament, when he came to the par-five 17th, but a bogey-bogey finish set him back.
"When you get off to a bad start, you`re just trying to hang on, because there`s not too many birdie opportunities, so to speak, on the back nine, even though the holes playing into the wind played downwind," he said.
"I thought I did a pretty good job after that bad start to hang on for a while. And unfortunately I had the dreaded `S` word (shank) on the 17th with my third shot," said Kapur.
"I had a wedge in there and I shanked it into the green, and actually did well to make a bogey. A bad drive on 18 meant a finishing bogey. But I felt I did well to hang on and keep the score for 16 holes."
Kapur was still smiling despite his putter not working.
Yesterday, his putter was red hot, but today, it was the opposite.
"Yeah, the putter was just not hot. Yesterday you`re holing putts and the game seems easy. I hit a lot of good putts that didn`t really go in. I had a horseshoe out on 13. It came straight back at me," said Kapur.
The morning belonged to Lee Westwood, who at one stage was six-under for the day and at five-under for the tournament, he shared the top spot on the leaderboard.
But Muirfield struck back at him with three bogeys in last six holes, but he was still up in top-5.
"Kick back on the couch and watch them struggle," said Westwood after a second round of 68 that left him two under par alongside Sweden`s Henrik Stenson and World Number One Tiger Woods.
The 40-year-old had raced to the turn in 31 thanks to birdies at the first, second, fifth, eighth and ninth, before another birdie on the 12th briefly took him into a share of the lead with Zach Johnson on five under par.
"I thought one over would be right in contention so to be two under is a real bonus and it could be leading at the end of the day," Westwood said.
Westwood is still seeking his first Major title and recently enlisted Sean Foley -- coach to US Open Champion Justin Rose and Woods -- to work on his long game and former Open Champion Ian Baker-Finch to improve his putting.
Woods, who had three birdies and three bogeys, was also happy with his position and he too hoped the tricky afternoon conditions he had to play in yesterday would now do him a favour.
"I`m in a good spot. I`m tied for the clubhouse lead," said the 14-time Major winner and by the evening he was still in top-five, though those above him had still to finish.
At the top, Zach Johnson, the overnight leader at five-under was still there at the same after four holes, while Miguel Angel Jimenez, improved by one at one-under through 13 holes and he was second.
The other Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who briefly went to top was tied third with Masters runner-up Argentine Angel Cabrera, who was one-under through four and at three-under for the tournament.
Phil Mickelson was one-under for the tournament and one-over for the tournament with 13 holes more to play.
It was a terrible day for other Asians as Thongchai Jaidee (79-71), Thaworn Wiratchant (79-77), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (72-85) missed the cut by a mile.
KJ Choi was also likely to miss but YE Yang at six-over could just squeeze in.