Shiv’s stellar performance at the Panasonic Open isn’t just about his big paycheck. His game is back, his spirit and form too are reflecting it. With four solid rounds, a fourth position tie and $80,000 to take home, this tournament Shiv hopes will be a turning point. India’s Asian Gold Medalist from 2002 (in amateur golf) has been often dodged by victory but he is at it even a decade later forcing the game to give him back what may be due. At the Panasonic Open Shiv had impressive rounds of 67, 68, 69 and 67 at the USD 1.9 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
Earlier in the day in an interview to me, Shiv shared, ”it’s nice to have put together 4 solid rounds after being in contention the last few weeks and not finishing off well on the weekend. This was an important week for me to prove something to myself.” This is as close as it gets since Shiv has brushed up his game with a new coach Jamie Gough on his swing. Some results were visible with improved consistency and better ‘bad shots’.
But now, winning is indeed everything. “Nothing can substitute the feeling of holing that final putt. It’s a massive adrenaline rush and that’s why one puts in all the hours of practice.”
“I have been on the leader boards for the last 3 weeks and been in contention regularly and as they say if you keep knocking the door will open sometime. So the aim is to keep doing what I’m doing and be patient for the next win.”
Shiv’s kept in touch with leaders across many recent events so he is clearly going to gear up to convert some of those tournaments into trophies. “Next week I’m playing in the Dunhill Links at St. Andrews and then fly across the world to play in the Macau Open and the following week it’s the Indian Open which I hope I can be peaking for.” He is currently 132 on the Race to Dubai rankings. He has some good run in September so far with KLM Open and the BMW Championship. The second top-five finish of the season for Kapur also more than doubled his earnings this year on the Asian Tour. It also brought him up from 22nd to 11th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit for the year.
Shiv’s been a high spirited golfer, who doesn’t demoralise himself with disappointments. For the rookie of the year 2005, with a significant fall in 2009, it’s been quite an effort to create a comeback swing that will work. I think the game may finally be getting ready to recognise Shiv’s style and effort.