27 February 2019: The centennial edition of the New Zealand Open was always going to be a spectacular show. We have a strong Indian contingent down under this week, but none has been as busy as Shiv Kapur. The spirited golfer has been mixing up his golf practice with a healthy dose of cricket and some quality time with his family.
Cricket and golf are like conjoined twins. Take a firm stance, line up your shoulder, hold the head still and swing your arms with a nice flourish. Shiv joined some illustrious Black Caps players in an exhibition game at the Millbrook Cricket Ground. Mixing it up with Stephen Fleming and Ricky Ponting, Shiv opened the batting with Brendon McCullum. He may have been unceremoniously run out by an overzealous fielder but that did nothing to wipe the glorious smile on his face as he had a thoroughly enjoyable outing.
Also on the agenda was a trip to Milford Sound. The site is considered the eighth wonder of the world by many in the Southern hemisphere and Shiv, with Maya and Veda in tow, had a fabulous day exploring the natural beauty of this wonderful fiord. Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. The towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, plummet down its sheer sides.
Shiv has been in fine fettle recently – having collected three top 10 finishes in his last eight starts since the Taiwan Masters last year, where he finished in sixth place. He was also tied for sixth in the Queen’s Cup and sixth again in the Indonesian Masters.
Currently ranked 267th in the world, Shiv can catapult himself closer to the top 200 with a good result this week. The 37-year-old is eager to move up the rankings as he works his way toward a much-coveted spot at the Olympics in 2020.
A couple of victories in 2017 – Yeangder Heritage and Panasonic Open India – and a second-place finish at the Royal Cup in 2018 have given Shiv the confidence he needed to push his case among the top tier of Indian golf.