For a golfer, the ultimate challenge is to qualify for any of the four majors events. These include the British Open, US Open, Augusta Masters and the PGA Championships. For Shiv Kapur who qualified for the British Open after coming joint second in the qualifiers in Dunbar, Scotland, earlier this week. The British Open starts in Muirfield Course from July 18.
The 35-year-old who won the Asian Games gold in 2002, did the unthinkable when he made it the hard way by coming through a tough field at the qualifiers in Dembur.
Shiv who is currently ranked 305 in the world, said qualifying for the British Open was a cherished desire. ‘I cannot tell you how happy I am after qualifying for the Open (as the British Open is called in the golfing circuit). This championship is the oldest tournament in the world and I will be looking forward to rubbing my shoulders against the best in the game,” he said.
When asked whether he had thought that he would qualify for The Open, Shiv said he was optimistic about his chances. “Look, I have been on the circuit for many years now. I have played at the highest level and at this level, one’s got to be optimistic about one’s chances. No doubt the field at the qualifiers was tough but I was good enough to do well there,” he said.
The field at Dunbar was quite tough. In fact, there were 288 qualifiers, each of whom wanted to have a tryst with destiny. “Yes with so many players trying to outwit and outdo each other for an Open berth, the competition was quite tough. I was mentally
To add to his woes, the weather in Dunbar was quite taxing. ‘It was very cold and wet—conditions which are quite tough for a golfer. Apart from the field, the weather conditions also made it very tough. Overall, I am elated that I could do qualify for this elite championships,” said Shiv.
Shiv, who last competed in the 2006 Open won by Tiger Woods at Hoylake, got off to a brilliant start when he eagled the second hole in the morning 18 holes. He ended up posting a one under par 69 and after a short lunch break, Kapur came back out to set a new course record of a six under par 64.
However the record lasted just over an hour before Australia’s John Wade shot a 63 and to join Shiv in qualifying for golf’s oldest Major.
The Indian capped his second round with five birdies over his closing 10 holes.
“It’s a great feeling to get through,” said Shiv. “ …I played beautifully this afternoon. In fact I felt I left a lot of shots out there but I suppose that’s what everybody says.”