Pattaya (Thailand), Dec 31: Indian golfer Shiv Kapur scored a four-under 67 to defeat overnight leader Prom Meesawat of Thailand by a stroke, while Gaganjeet Bhullar finished third after a 66 in the fourth and final round of the $500,000 Royal Cup here on Sunday.
Shiv was two shots behind Meesawat on Saturday but managed to pull ahead of the Thai who scored a 70 that gave him a four-day total of 13-under 270 — one behind the Indian.
It was 35-year-old Shiv’s third title on the Asian Tour this year. He earlier won at the Yeangder Heritage, Panasonic Open India.
“It was a see-saw battle indeed. I had to come out fighting straight out of the blocks,” Shiv said in an Asian Tour release.
“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,” he added.
“It’s always great to win three times on Tour during the season. On top of that, it’s a special feeling to have my daughter here on the 18th green celebrating my win.”
Meesawat lost his advantage early at the second hole of 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 Shiv knocked in a birdie.
Meesawat’s further bogeys on the fifth and ninth holes handed Shiv the lead. The 33-year-old Thai managed to shake off nerves after the turn and it was all square again following consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th.
Shiv did himself no favours when he bogeyed the 13th and 14th and in the process, handed Meesawat a two-shot lead again.
The Indian bounced back remarkably with two consecutive birdies and it was back to a deadlock. With Meesawat bogeying the 17th, the door was left open for Shiv to win the Royal Cup, and he did.
Meesawat nearly forced a playoff as he narrowly missed a birdie putt at the last hole of the tournament. He finished the fourth round with a 70.
“At the 18th, I thought he was a bit unlucky. Prom is a steely competitor and I’m lucky to come out on top,” Shiv said.
India’s Bhullar carded a 66 to cement third place after a late charge. He scored four birdies and an eagle (par-five sixth hole) against a bogey. He totalled 11-under 273 over the four days.
“I had a good tournament. I didn’t prepare much as I came straight from my wedding. Today was particularly good. I holed a lot of good putts and gave myself good opportunities,” Bhullar said.
“I played well but obviously these guys (Shiv and Meesawat) played better than me.”
Thai legend Prayad Marksaeng and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, who won on the same golf course last year, shared fourth place.
Khalin Joshi, moved up three places to be sixth following a 67, taking his total to eight-under 276.
Veteran Jyoti Randhawa was tied 41st on a three-over 287 total after carding a 72 on the day.
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