Kapur foresees golden era for Indian golf
golf is entering a golden era and could well deliver a Major champion
in the foreseeable future, says Volvo Masters of Asia title holder
The talented Kapur, who is defending the Asian Tour's grand finale
at Thai Country Club starting on Thursday, believes that in-form
countryman Jeev Milkha Singh will lead the way in breaking new frontiers
after a barnstorming season in which he has won four times on three
"Golf is a big sport in India now. People have not realised
that over the last few years. We have three golfers in the top 200
in the world and it was only a matter of time before they struck
gold, so to speak," said Kapur today.
"There has always been promise, but people have not fully
realised that - but Jeev has done that by winning the Volvo Masters
in Spain (in October) and getting into the top 50 in the world.
Now people are recognising what golf is rather than just looking
"I think the next five or six years looks really good for
Indian golf," said Kapur.
Kapur knows that Singh will be his chief rival in his attempt to
successfully defend the Volvo Masters of Asia crown, which is the
Asian Tour's 27th event this season offering a record of US$24 million
in total prize money.
The US$650,000 Volvo Masters of Asia features the top-60 players
from the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit but Singh, who also triumphed
at the Volvo China Open in April, has already wrapped up the prestigious
"I think he won three times in six weeks which is amazing
at that level. I have a lot of respect for Jeev as a competitor
and that (respect) has gone up many folds. He is on top of the world,
I spoke to him on Sunday and he cannot stop smiling even on the
phone!" said Kapur.
"It is great what he has done. It has an impact for other
golfers in India, including me. They are saying, hey if Jeev
can do it, so can I. We have come out of the same system.
That impact is going to be long lasting.
"If he keeps that confidence up, the sky is the limit for
him. We know this game is all mental, so if you are feeling good
you are going to play well. If Jeev keeps playing the way he has
been, I do not think that will be far off (winning a Major).
"Realistically, it is possible - obviously winning a Major
takes more than winning a normal Tour event. If you can win the
Volvo Masters in Europe beating guys like Sergio Garcia, Michael
Campbell and Retief Goosen, who have all won Majors, it is a good
sign. If you can win at that level on that kind of golf course,
he can win a Major."
While Kapur was singing the praises of Singh, he is also determined
to sign off his own season on a winning note. The past 12 months
have been frenetic for the 24-year-old as he enjoyed his Major debut
at the British Open in July and also secured playing rights in Europe
"I am playing pretty good. I have had a few weeks off and
I am well rested. Whenever you come back to a golf course where
you have played well in the past you seem to find the confidence
in your game.
"I feel comfortable round here and before the break I was
playing well. I do not need to look at the yardage book as much
as I do on other courses. I know what I am going to hit off the
tees. There are good memories, you know you have birdied certain
holes (last year) so you are feeling good most of the time,"
said Kapur, who is presently ranked eighth on the UBS Order of Merit.
"Every part of my game is pretty solid, I am relaxed and I
am mentally refreshed. I am a better player now than I was a year
Apart from Singh, Jyoti Randhawa will be another top contender
to regain the Volvo Masters of Asia title which was snatched from
him by Kapur last year. The 2004 champion showed his game was as
sharp as ever after a three week break which he spent on biking
and a fishing holiday.
"It's all in the mind," said Randhawa, who shot an effortless
67 in the Mel Pyatt Trophy, a matchplay team event which pits the
Asian Tour pros against officials in honour of Volvo Event Management
president and chief executive officer, Mel Pyatt.
"I spent three weeks biking and went on a fishing trip about
five hours drive from New Delhi and it was good. Today was the first
time that I've picked up the clubs. I feel mentally refreshed,"
December 12, 2006