Golf: Shiv, Bjorn leads in opening round

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{image-shiv kapur_07022008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Feb 7: Course record holder Shiv Kapur, after firing 4 under 68 in his opening round of the Emmar-MGF Indian Open Golf here today described his performance as scratchy.

Another golfer -Thomas Bjorn (Sweden) who also ended with 4 under par 68, said he was happy with his start.
''It was a good day. I played pretty solid until the last three holes really. It was just pretty steady off the tee. I took it a bit conservative off the tee on most holes, and a couple chances I took and got off well. So it was a nice day. It was a good start, anyway, so we'll work from there,'' Bjorn said.

''It was a pretty scratchy round. I managed to pull a 68 out of nothing really. I started off on the back nine and it was quite a seesaw, lots of birdies and lots of bogeys. Wasn't really settled in and I wasn't swinging too well,'' Kapur told media persons .

He, however, hastened to add, ''68 is a pretty good start, but just the way I played, making seven birdies, I would have hoped for a better round really.

''I was hitting a few errant shots. I haven't looked at the leaderboard really, so I don't know what the scores are. I've actually set forward a goal that, you know, par for the course for me is 68, because all of the par 5s are reachable for me. So if I can just shoot 68 every day, I think I'll be in contention come Sunday,'' he added.

''I'm comfortable on this course. I'm happy with the way I'm playing. Like I said, I got off to a shaky start, but I managed to hold it together. I guess overall I'm pretty pleased with 68.'' Shiv was confident of others Indians also doing well,''you'll see a lot of Indian players on the leaderboard. they are comfortable in these conditions and know the course better.'' He said it was tough for him to set a score for himself (on the opening day), ''It's tough to set a score. It just depend on the conditions and how cold it is, if you get a wind, this course can be pretty tricky and 68 is par for me and the par 5s I played at par 4s, and if I can keep doing that, I'll be pretty happy.'' Shiv, however, added, ''Overall I'm actually pretty proud of myself that I hung in there. Things were not going my way for the first sort of six or seven holes, I was actually over par at one stage. It's just one of those things that you learn in competitive golf that you have to learn how to grind it out, even when you don't have your A Game, you have to learn to post a score and I managed to do that. And I found I got into a rhythm my last eight or nine holes, and when you're getting into a rhythm, you have to make some birdies and I did that as well. I'm happy with the way I'm swinging now, and if I can keep that going, hopefully I can get lower and lower scores.'' The Indian was happy with his putting,''Whatever realistic birdie opportunities I gave myself, I made the majority of those, so I'm happy about that. There's always room for improvement. Like I said golfers are very greedy people, we're never happy, you get off the golf course shooting 62 saying, 'it could have been a couple better.

Overall I'm feeling pretty solid about my game and I've improved in a lot of areas which I've been trying to improve in.'' Asked if will like to beat his course record of 10 under, he replied, ''That would be great. Obviously a round like 62 comes around, you know, once in a blue moon so to speak; if I can do that at the right week, that would be great.'' Bjorn said, ''I think it's just a question of playing this golf course very conservative. It's very rare we see bush like this.

It's just, to find to sometimes is a miracle in itself. So you've got to play conservative and try to keep it within the perimeters of the golf course and try to get the most out of your day. I think if you try and overpower this golf course, you're going to find yourself in huge trouble throughout the week.'' He, however, was of the view that it takes a little bit of experience to play a golf course like this, ''I think. You know, I think you have an advantage when you play a lot of golf in your life and you know that you can be out of the golf tournament after ten holes today, but you certainly can't win it today. You've got to stick in there. I think people enjoy watching us play golf in a very controlled and sensible way.''

UNI

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