Local knowhow by the side, Shiv Kapur bounces back after injury

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Shiv Kapur - TheGolfingHub
Shiv Kapur suffered a foot injury and was out of action for five weeks in the middle of the season but luckily did not miss too many events because it was in the summer. Photo: Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Shiv Kapur grabbed the lead in the US$700,000 Yeangder TPC today by carding a brilliant eight-under-par 64 on Day 1 – in an event the marks the first time the Asian Tour has visited Chinese-Taipei in three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four-time Asian Tour winner overpowered the course with an eagle, eight birdies and just two bogeys at Linkou International Golf and Country Club, in Taipei.

 

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Chinese-Taipei’s irrepressible star Chan Shih-chang and Malaysian Ben Leong came in with 66s, with India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu and Prom Meesawat from Thailand, both former winners of this event, firing 67s, along with Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong, a two-time champion this season, Chinese-Taipei’s Lu Sun-yi, an amateur, Lee Chieh-po and Lin Keng-wei, and Miguel Carballo from Argentina.

Related: Nitithorn Thippong eyeing Asian Tour three-peat

“I putted really well, I have a local caddie out there, whose name is Su [Su Ching-hong, a national team player], who was arranged for me by James Chan [Chan Shih-chang] and the Tour and he is reading the greens really well, so I am just trusting him,” said Kapur, who won the Yeangder Heritage here on the Asian Tour in Chinese-Taipei in 2017.

“I have always struggled around the greens here after all these years, but I am holing putts and he was a big help today.”

 

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His round started on 10 but his game really got going on his second nine when he eagled the first before making birdie on the next four.  

He added: “Season so far has been a bit lack lustre, struggled with injuries in the middle of the season. My game has been close, but it has been very frustrating. I have been making a lot of cuts but not been playing well at the weekend. I feel like I was close, and I was looking for a low round and I could not have asked for a better start.”

The Indian star suffered a foot injury and was out of action for five weeks in the middle of the season but luckily did not miss too many events because it was in the summer. 

 

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“I tried to make compensations and so I lost my swing a little bit.  I feel like it is coming back for the business end of season, two good weeks here will set me up rest of the year,” he said.

Sandhu won here in 2017 and despite a solid start he felt there is still plenty to work on.
“I eagled the first but then cooled down after that. I didn’t play my best today, but I scored ok. Everything thing was average,” he said.

“Conditions were quite easy, there was no wind, and the greens have improved. It was quite scorable out there. I’ll just need to play better tomorrow.

 

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While the Tour’s big-name players jostled for position, much of the attention also focused on Chinese-Taipei’s Hsieh Cheng-wei. The 14-year-old amateur, whose home course is this week’s venue, returned an impressive 69, which included birdies on first three holes. It beat his best score around the course by a shot.