Pattaya, Thailand: Shiv Kapur entered 2018 on a high after emerging triumphant at the US$500,000 Royal Cup.
The Indian closed out 2017 with a final-round four-under-par 67 to finish on 14-under 270.
The last round had been billed as a duel between Kapur and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat as the pair emerged from the pack after round three. At the start of the final round, Prom was two shots ahead of Kapur, who was four shots ahead of the rest of the field.
However, Prom lost his advantage as early as the second hole at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club. After pulling to the left, Prom had to settle for a bogey at the par-three hole, while Kapur knocked in a birdie.
Prom’s further bogeys on the fifth and ninth handed Kapur the lead. But the 33-year-old Thai managed to shake off his nerves after the turn and it was all square again following consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th.
Kapur did himself no favours when he bogeyed the 13th and 14th and in the process, handed Prom a two-shot lead again.
Kapur bounced back with two consecutive birdies of his own and it was back to a deadlock. With Prom bogeying the 17th, the door was left open for Kapur to win the Royal Cup, and he did.
Prom nearly forced a play-off at the final hole but narrowly missed a birdie putt. He finished round four with a 70.
Kapur said: “It was a see-saw battle. I had to come out fighting straight out of the blocks. I made two birdies in my first three holes and that reversed Prom’s advantage. It doesn’t always go to plan, but luckily, I started well. Prom is a steely competitor and I’m lucky to come out on top.
“I think the tournament has a great format. It has a lot of history and I’m glad to join the illustrious list of winners.”
Gaganjeet Bhullar of India carded a 66 to cement third place after a late charge. Thai legend Prayad Marksaeng and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, who won on the same golf course last year, shared fourth place.
Singapore: Michael Braidwood, one of the most respected educators on club management in the EMEA region, will be the presenter for the third instalment of the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Sustainability Series.