New Delhi: Chiragh Kumar wore a small smile as he watched Shiv Kapur scoop up the trophy — and daughter — on the 18th green of the Delhi Golf Club.
Two years ago, it had been his turn, and it is quite possible he shared the magic formula of “cuddle baby, win title” with his DGC mate as Kapur turned in a remarkable like-for-like performance to win the Panasonic Open India by a solid three strokes on Sunday.
Seven others took a share of second place on 14 under par 274, and overnight co-leader Paul Peterson was the only non-Indian name in the bunch. There was Chiragh (64), Ajeetesh Sandhu (65), Karandeep Kochhar (66), 2014 winner S.S.P. Chawrasia (69), Om Prakash Chouhan (69) and Sudhir Sharma (69).
Shamim Khan (72) and Honey Baisoya (68) finished in a tie for ninth place, nine Indians crowding the top 10.
Kapur’s win — his second Asian title of the year and third overall — also took him to the top of the Panasonic Open Swing, which spans five tournaments of which this was the second. At the Thailand Open, Kapur was second and events in Malaysia and Indonesia follow before the final round in Japan next year.
At one point, just one shot separated him from the chasing pack, and a dropped shot on the 10th hole could have proved costly.
It, however, had the opposite effect as he reeled off four birdies over the next five holes to open up an unbridgeable gap.