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Bangkok, Thailand, 21 May 2017

Shiv Kapur continues hot streak, claims tied second place courtesy final round 63

Gaganjeet Bhullar also takes a share of second

The Indian duo of Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar claimed joint runners-up place at 19-under-265 at the Asian Tour’s Thailand Open. The duo finished two shots behind champion Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand at the US$300,000 event.

While Shiv Kapur (70-67-65-63) struck a blistering eight-under-63 in round four to move up seven places from his overnight tied ninth, Gaganjeet Bhullar (65-66-67-67) gained one spot from his overnight third place as a result of his final round of four-under-67 at the Thai Country Club.
 
Kapur, who was chasing a second straight title following his win at the Yeangder Heritage three weeks back, sank four straight birdies in his closing five holes to pile the pressure on Rattanon before signing for the day’s best score of 63.

Incidentally, Shiv had won his maiden Asian Tour title during his rookie season in 2005 at the same venue, the Thai Country Club. Kapur’s runner-up finish in Bangkok has now pushed him up from 13th to ninth place in the 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Shiv said, “It was disappointing to miss the birdie to get to 20-under but I am not complaining with a closing 63. I played a great round of golf. If you told me I would shoot a 63 at the start of the day, I would have taken it.
 
“The putter wasn’t working too well for me on the first three days but it got hot today. I made a lot of putts except for the last hole, but that’s golf. I made a lot of putts coming in especially so I can’t complain. Hats off to Rattanon for being a better player this week.
 
“I drove the ball well in the first three rounds to put myself in a good position into the final round. My putter was what pushed me to a tied-second place finish today. I made a few long putts as well.
 
“I was actually telling my caddy coming down the 18th fairway that I birdied the 18th hole with a similar pin position when I won my first Asian Tour title here in 2005. We were hoping to make an even better shot this time but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the putt. It was still some good memories out there.
 
“You can’t be winning every week so if I am able to put myself in contention every week, I will be very happy. The turning point for me was the birdie on 14. I dropped a shot earlier on 13 and thought I needed to gain back in the last few holes. I managed to make four in a row from 14, which was great. I went from being in tied-ninth to threatening for the lead.”
  
Bhullar, a seven-time Asian Tour winner, impressed with a birdie-birdie finish after chipping in from 35 yards on 18 to close with a second consecutive 67.

Gaganjeet said, “It was a great finish with two consecutive birdies to grab a share of second place. I played so well and I thought at the end of the day, I will either win or finish inside top-five. I am very happy with the way I played. It’s been very special.
 
“I hit the ball well and it was a great week all over. I had two chip-ins today, including one from 35 yards on the last. It was a great moment. The other chip-in was on the par-three third. I missed the green on the right and chipped it in from the fringe. It was a difficult chip. I gained a lot of momentum from there. Short game was the key for me throughout the week.”

Jeev Milkha Singh was the next best Indian in tied 32nd at eight-under-276.

Shankar Das and Khalin Joshi were in tied 42nd at six-under-278.

Shubhankar Sharma ended the week in tied 66th at one-under-283 while Himmat Rai and Chiragh Kumar were tied 72nd at three-over-287 and Chikkarangappa and Arjun Prasad were tied 75th at five-over-289.


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