Kapur finishes second, five Indians in top six


New Delhi : Richard Karlberg of Sweden took the cake, winning the $300,000 SAIL Open, even as five Indians followed him in the second to sixth place in the Asian Tour event that concluded at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) Friday.

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India’s Shiv Kapur, playing on his home course, failed to end his five-year title drought as he signed off with a 71 in the $300,000 Asian Tour event, which is celebrating its third edition. Kapur, joint leader with Karlberg at 14-under, finished five strokes behind the winner as the Swede ran away with a final six-under 66 to end at 20 under 268.

The Asian Tour rookie, who held the lead from the first round, closed with a superb six-under-par 66 for a winning aggregate of 20-under-par 268 and beat joint overnight leader Kapur by five shots.

It was a record winning total for an Asian Tour event at the DGC.

Besides Shiv, six other Indians- Jyoti Randhawa, SSP Chowrasia, Shamim Khan, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Sanjay Kumar and Rahil Gangjee also ended up in the top-10.

Local hero Randhawa finished third on 274 after shooting a fine 68 while compatriots Chowrasia and Khan finished fourth and fifth. Bhullar (71) was sixth at nine-under.

The Asian Tour rookie, who held the lead from the first round, closed with a superb six-under-par 66.

After an early birdie on the first hole, Kapur looked set to make a strong title push but a disappointing bogey on the third hole derailed his plans.

“There are key moments in a round and today it was my bogey on the third. If I had holed more putts I would have given myself a chance but I didn’t. I’m going to be a gracious loser and tip my hat off to Richard as he played great,” said Kapur, who has won once on the Asian Tour in 2005.

“To be content when you are not on top of your game is something I learned to do,” said the Indian, who has now climbed to 24th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Randhawa, who has won four Asian Tour titles at the venerable Delhi Golf Club, closed with five birdies against one bogey and was pleased with his finish.

Playing in only his second Asian Tour event, Karlberg got off to the best of starts with an opening birdie and then saved a hug putt for par from 15 feet on the second hole to keep his momentum.

“When I saved par on the second hole, I knew that was the turning point as my putter was hot,” said the Karlberg, winner of the Swedish domestic tour Order of Merit in 2007.

Three consecutive birdies from the fifth hole saw the steady Swede lead by three at the turn but he was not on cruise mode yet as nerves crept in. “I can say I was more nervous after those three birdies than I was before. If you hit a bad tee shot, you can lose your ball and end up with a very high score. I was not comfortable until I hit the last tee shot,” said the 23-year-old.

Chowrasia fired a 68 to finish fourth with a 12 under 276 total while Shamim Khan came in fifth at 10 under 278.

Bhullar secured sixth place at nine under 279 and Sanjay’s six under 282 total helped him finish seventh. Sanjay carded a brilliant 66 in round four.

Gangjee secured tied ninth position as he totalled four under 284.