Kapur overcome illness to fire 66 for tied 2nd spot after Rd 1

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Chonburi (Thailand), Feb 24 (PTI) Indian golfer ShivKapur overcame a stomach bug to shoot a brilliant six-under 66to lie tied second after the first round of the OpenChampionship International Final Qualifying � Asia here today.

The Delhi golfer, who had a top 10 finish at the AvanthaMasters, shares the second spot with Bangladeshi sensationSiddikur Rahman and Korea''s Lee Sung-Man, a deaf-born golferwho started having the ability to hear after having an implantsurgically placed in his right ear last November.

Among other Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar carded two-under70 for a tied 24th place, while Himmat Rai was tied 35 afterturning in one-under 71.

However, it was Japan''s Kodai Ichihara who enjoyed thefirst round lead with a seven-under-par 65 at Amata SpringCountry Club here.

The home charge was carried by Prom Meesawat, who fired asolid 67 which was matched by Korean duo Kim Hyung-sung andBae Kyu-tae.

Liang Wen-chong, China''s first Asian Tour number one in2007, Japanese Yoshinobu Tsukada, home stars PariyaJunhasavasdikul, Prayad Marksaeng and Chinnarat Phadungsil,Australian Gavin Flint, England''s Miles Tunnicliff andSingapore''s Lam Chih Bing cards matching 68s to stay in thehunt for the four tickets to The Open.

Kapur, the man who pipped Lee for the last ticket fiveyears ago, contemplated withdrawing after falling illovernight but produced one of the best rounds of the day.

"I''ve been sick as a dog and on the way to the club thismorning, I thought there was no way I could play. Since I wasalready here, I decided to give it a go and once I got into aplaying mode, I forgot about being sick and carried on playingone shot at a time," Kapur said.

"My caddie (Neeraj Sareen) also reminded me of the oldsaying at the start of the day and I didn''t think aboutanything. I was seven under through 14 holes and it seems thatI''ve got a chance now. I was lucky to get in 18 holes," saidthe Indian, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour.

The British Open Championship will take place at Royal StGeorge''s from July 14-17.

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