Late bogeys see Kapur finish 27th, Jeev 43rd


Geisei (Japan) : Swirling winds finally caught up with golfer Shiv Kapur just when he appeared to be heading for a very steady and solid round. He ran into two bogeys in the last four holes to finish with a card of two-over 74 that gave him a share of 27th place on the opening day of the Casio World Open.

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His compatriot and defending champion Jeev Milkha Singh was one shot behind with a roller-coaster of a round that had three bogeys, one double bogey and two birdies for a 75 that put him at tied 43rd at Kochi Kuroshio Country Club.

“It was very tough out there,” said Kapur, who is playing in Japan for the first time this year. “Last year I played the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan and playing here is different from any other tour as the conditions are highly challenging.”

Toru Taniguchi of Japan, trying to win his second money title, shot a first round 69 to share the lead with veteran Tateo Ozaki, Taichi Teshima and South Korea’s I.J. Chang.

Taniguchi, the current JGTO money leader, started off at the 10th tee and fired a 3-under-par 33 in the second half of his round on a day when scoring became a difficult proposition because of tough conditions.

Kapur, playing with Taniguchi and Teshima, who went on to share the lead, parred his first six holes before a birdie on the seventh put him one-under. A bogey on ninth meant he turned in even par. He parred five holes before bogeying 15th and 17th.

Jeev double bogeyed the third and added a bogey on fourth to start poorly. A birdie followed by another bogey and birdie saw him turn in two-over 38 and then the tenth saw him drop yet another shot. He steadied to par the remaining eight holes.

After carding a birdie and a bogey to reach the turn, Taniguchi got his round going with back-to-back birdies from No. 1 before dropping a shot on the third. He quickly recovered to birdie the fifth and seventh to move into a share of the lead.

Taniguchi, who has won three tournaments this year, is leading Shingo Katayama by 16.5 million yen ($15,814) on the money list with two tour events left in the season.

Ozaki, a 53-year-old whose last victory on the JGTO tour came at the Fujisankei Classic in 2000, missed a hole-in-one by inches, but got an easy birdie on the 14th, the highlight of his round.

The winner of the tournament in Kochi Prefecture will earn 28 million yen ($257,624) from a 140-million yen ($1.23 million) purse.