Kapur looks for a good start at Johnnie Walker Classic

February 18th, 2009 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Perth, Feb 18 (IANS) With good memories, young Indian golfer Shiv Kapur returns to the Johnnie Walker Classic starting here.
Kapur fresh from his triumph at the 2005 Volvo Maters of Asia in his rookie season, came to Johnnie Walker and finished tied 12th. Those will be the positive memories Kapur will carry when he tees off at the latest edition of Johnnie Walker.

“I played well here in 2006. That was like my first big tournament. I played with Fred Couples, Craig Parry and Robert Allenby who were the guys whom I sort of grew up idolising. To play well and match up with them, I think I finished 12th , it was a good experience. To come back here and to know that I’ve played well here in the past makes it a bit easier. The course sets up to the eye quite well. When you have a positive memory in your mind, it always helps,” said Kapur.

Talking of the course, he said: “The golf course is tougher now, it’s longer and a bit more demanding off the tee. The greens are soft now but when it becomes hard and fast, it’ll be a challenge.”

Johnnie Walker Classic by and large has produced good results for Kapur. In 2008, when the event was held in India, he was fifth.

“It has been a good event for me as I also finished fifth last year in India. It gives me good vibes and this game is so much about the mental side of things as well. When you feel good going into the week, half the battle is won. I’m coming into the week with a good positive attitude,” he said.

He said he was in good shape like last week, when he faltered on the final nine.

“Last week, the way I looked at it, I played good 63 holes. I didn’t play well on the front nine on Sunday but I played well to put myself in contention. I feel like my game is coming around, the form is there. It’s a question of being patient.”

Meanwhile, Australian golf legend Greg Norman makes a rare appearance on home soil.

After turning 54 eight days ago, the man nicknamed the Great White Shark will be aiming to roll back the years at The Vines Resort and Country Club against a stellar field which includes Colombian star Camilo Villegas, American Anthony Kim, England’s Lee Westwood and title holder Mark Brown of New Zealand.

Asia’s top players - China’s Liang Wen-chong and Lam Chih Bing of Singapore - will be shooting to deliver the region’s first winner at the prestigious event, which was inaugurated in Hong Kong in 1990.

All eyes will be on the charismatic Norman, a man who has won over 80 international titles and two major championships. Last year, he produced a fairy-tale run at the British Open where he entered the final round as the tournament leader before finishing third.

Norman’s star appearance at the Johnnie Walker Classic will be part of his preparation for his 23rd visit to the US Masters in April, an invitation he earned following his stunning run at The Open.

The Johnnie Walker Classic is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia.

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