Muirfield (Scotland), July 3 (IANS) Indian star Shiv Kapur battled through testing conditions to qualify for his second Open Golf championship here later this month.
Kapur, who is a winner on the Asian Tour, was among three players who qualified for the year’s third Major championship at the 36-hold Local Final Qualifying (LFQ) event at the Musselburgh, Scotland.
The talented Indian started his campaign with a one-under-par 69, courtesy of an eagle-three on the second hole and hit top gear in the afternoon round with a flawless 64, which included six birdies.
Kapur, who has won once on the Asian Tour, totalled seven-under-par 133 to finish second in wet and cold conditions but was delighted to make a return to golf’s oldest Major. He made his debut at The Open in 2006 at Hoylake where he missed the halfway cut by one shot.
“I wanted to try and qualify on a links course because I think that’s the proper way to do it. It was the first time I had played a links course since this time last year, so it was all a bit strange to start with. But I soon got the hang of things again. I played beautifully in the afternoon,” said the 31-year-old.
He will rely on Italian Golf Federation coach Alberto Binaghi, who also works with Italian Matteo Manassero, to guide him to a successful campaign at The Open which will be played from July 18-21.
“I’ve been working with Alberto for the last few months. We had a three hour session in Milan earlier this week and we worked mainly on my short game and hitting shots in the wind. I think that helped a lot,” said Kapur, who has two top-five results on the Asian Tour this season.
Among the other Asian Tour stars who have already qualified for The Open include Thai trio Thaworn Wiratchant, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who is currently No.1 on the Merit list and Thongchai Jaidee, currently ranked 55th on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Asian Tour member Kim Hyung-sung of Korea will also be in the elite field alongside honourary members K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang.