Shiv Kapur
Dubai resident Shiv Kapur (right) with host GM, Dubai veteran Elliott Gray. Image Credit: Supplied

Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent is starting to earn the nickname ‘Mr International Series’ after firing a scintillating bogey-free eight under par 64 in the opening round of the $1.5 million International Series Singapore on Thursday, on the highly regarded Tampines Course at Tanah Merah Country Club.

Malaysia’s No 1 Gavin Green sits in second place after an equally impressive and flawless 65 while Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, Phachara Khongwatmai and Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, Korean Kyongjun Moon, Englishman Steve Lewton and Filipino Juvic Pagunsan carded 67s — in severe sauna-like conditions.

Dubai-based Shiv Kapur leads the Dubai challenge with a one over par 73, to stand in tied 78th place. The Indian had nines of 37 and 36, with three birdies, two bogeys and a double.

Bad hole derails plans

On finishing his first round Shiv told Gulf News: “One bad hole derailed a steady day up to that point, when I caught the overhanging tree with my drive and made double there on hole 2.

“Conditions were good for scoring and the course is a great test of golf: tough but fair. Good shots will get rewarded, so if you are on your game you can make a few birdies. My goal tomorrow will be to be a bit more aggressive and take on a few more flags and post a low number. In summary, my game seems to be coming together but I need the putter to cooperate, which is what this game is all about these days,” concluded Shiv.

Jumeirah Golf Estates Amateur and Dubai resident Yash Majmudar qualified by winning the Singapore Amateur Open Championship last month, shot a respectable three over par 75 to be placed tied 112th and Jeev Milkha Singh a six over par 78 and tied 137th.

Great player

Vincent won the International Series England in Newcastle in June and leads the International Series Order of Merit, having tied for 11th in the International Series Thailand in March, and was once again in inspired form in the Asian Tour’s new raft of million-dollar plus events.

Vincent’s brother Kieran, a rookie, returned a 68 along with ten other players including American Peter Uihlein. It’s his debut on the Asian Tour, and 30 year-old Scott is expecting great things of his 24 year-old sibling.

“He is a great player, I have no doubt he will do something really special with his golf, and whether it is here or whether it is down the road it is going to be really good to see him playing well because he is very capable and we’ll just see how he does coming in,” said the Zimbabwean, who won a title in Japan before his success in Newcastle.

Leading first round scores (Par 72, 7535 yards):

64 - Scott Vincent (Zim).

65 - Gavin Green (Mas).

67 - Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA), Kyongjun Moon (KOR), Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA), Phachara Khongwatmai (THA), Steve Lewton (ENG), Juvic Pagunsan (PHI).