Shiv Kapur’s preparations for this week’s Royal’s Cup in Thailand, the second event of the season on the Asian Tour, have been impressive if a little different: he’s been skiing in Bulgaria!
“I am quite relaxed actually,” said Kapur ahead of this week’s US$400,000 event, which tees-off tomorrow at Grand Prix Golf Club, in Kanchanaburi province.
“I have had unusual preparation; I went skiing last week, and it could not have been different weather. I had a pretty hectic start to the year so I thought it would be nice to kick back and relax and come in with a different mindset.”
Kapur has a second home in Bulgaria, part owns a bar there at Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort and has been doing a Pro Am in the country for the past five years.
“Bulgaria is like a second home for me,” he adds.
The Indian star has been in excellent form since the Asian Tour restarted at the end of last year and he has not missed the cut in five starts.
However, he is still looking for his first Asian Tour victory since winning an earlier version of this week’s tournament at the very end of 2017. It was called the Royal Cup and as it featured only 30 Asian Tour players it did not count towards the Order of Merit.
Like this week, the trophy back then was bestowed by the King and Kapur is fully aware of its significance.
“Any time when you win the Kings’ trophy in Thailand, it’s very special. I remember having my whole family there, my daughter was quite young, and my parents were also there that week,” said the 40 year old.
“I remember having a battle with Prom [Meesawat] down the stretch. I was lucky to come out on top that time. We have had some great battles in the past from my junior days to my amateur days and to come out on top was pretty special, and it was a great way to end that 2017 season for me.”
That proved to be the finest season of his career so far as he also won the Yeangder Heritage in Chinese-Taipei and the Panasonic Open India.
He now has four Asian Tour titles to his name and is determined to add to that total this year.
Said Kapur: “I put in a lot of effort during the time off. I have been in the gym, even though it may not show, trying to get fitter and stay injury free. I have done some pretty good work on my game. Haven’t had the wins, put myself in position, but not been able to close at the weekend, that would be something I would like to change. I am treating this week like it’s a new season, that’s why the break last week. It’s important to feel mentally fresh as well.”
He also has his coach Shane Gillespie caddying for him this week, as he will for next week’s International Series Thailand, and The DGC Open in New Delhi later in March.
“I am feeling mentally refreshed, recharged batteries and ready to go again,” said Kapur.
“I am feeling good about my game. I think there is a lot of good work we have put in already in the last 24 hours. And I am quite excited for the week.”