Shiv Kapur in action in Thailand
Shiv Kapur in action in Thailand Image Credit: AFP

Dubai-based golfer Shiv Kapur sits three off the lead after round one of the Asian Tour’s Blue Canyon Phuket Championship with American John Catlin leading the way in Thailand.

This is the first event of an Asian Tour double header in Thailand, along with next week’s Laguna Phuket Championship, 2021 at Laguna Golf Phuket which sees the Asian Tour return to tournament golf after a Covid-19 break for the first time since March 2020.

Catlin, tied ninth in last week’s DP World Tour Championship, shot a seven under par 65 which included eagles at both the ninth and 15th holes. Catlin has been in fine form over the past three years, claiming four Asian Tour titles and three European Tour wins, including the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Castle, Northern Ireland and has a current World Raking of 123.

Kapur had set the early pace in the worst of the weather in the morning rounds with a four under par round of 68, before finishing the day in a share of fifth.

‘It was a bit tough out there in the wind and the rain,” said Kapur. “My Dubai caddie, Aryan Kumar, from the junior programme at The Els Club, Dubai, has not seen rain for three years, so at times, it was a challenge for us both. It will hopefully be a repeat weather day tomorrow so it balances out the draw.’

Kapur had nines of 35 and 33, with just one dropped shot on the par 3 second hole and five birdies in total, with no one in the field shooting a lower back nine.

The youngest player in the field, 14 year old amateur Ratchanon Chantananuwat broke par with his creditable round of 71 to lie in tied 42nd position.

Both Phuket events boast prizemoney of $1million and will be followed by two events being planned in Singapore in January that will bring to a conclusion the 2020-21 Asian Tour season.