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75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – Shiv Kapur’s golf gold at 2002 Asian Games

Shiv Kapur wins a gold medal in golf at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.

Shiv Kapur, who is living in the United States, helped India win the gold medal in golf at the Asian Games in Busan on October 6, 2002.

Laxman Singh won the first and last individual gold medal for India in golf at the 1982 Asiad in New Delhi when Kapur was just nine months old.

At the Asiad Country Club, the shy and dashing Shiv Kapur broke India’s medal drought in the sport and left everyone dumbfounded. In fact, he spoke a lot thereafter, just as he had let his clubs and irons do all the talking on the exquisitely designed course, despite the challenging conditions brought on by the constant rain.

Any golfer would have gone wild on a day like that. The greens were slowed down by the rain, which started as a drizzle and became into a torrent, but Kapur continued to improve with each new hole.

The two players that returned with a two-par score of 70 on the last day were the overnight joint leader and South Korean Sung Mao Chang, who finished in fifth place. This thrilling performance put the student golfer from Indianapolis three strokes ahead of the field, while the other joint leader, Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka, finished with a one-over par and had to settle for second place. Behind the Sri Lankan, who had an aggregate of 287, was South Korea’s Kim Hyun-Woo with 292.

In the last round, Kapur’s performance was not faultless. After starting the round with a birdie at the second hole, he ran into difficulty when he tried to putt from close range on the eighth hole and the ball rolled away far and wide. On the par-5 ninth, where his first drive went off the fairway and his recovery shot ended up in the bunker, he was once more forced back into the wall.

But Kapur remained unfazed and responded brilliantly, finding his second birdie with a piledriver and excellent putting. At this point, luck was on Kapur’s side since he maintained his composure during the inward leg and made another birdie on the par-5 eleventh hole.

Kapur was ecstatic and pumping his fist when he made a long putt for birdie on the 14th hole. Perhaps he was aware that the gold belonged to him and India.

The first part of the outward leg saw Rohana, who was playing with the group that came after Kapur’s group, on target. However, bogeys on the tricky eighth and ninth holes caused him to finish the first nine holes with a score of two over 36.

The Sri Lankan, on the other hand, avoided giving anything away by making birdies at holes 12 and 15, which kept the Indian camp wondering. However, Rohana could only par the next two holes and had a bogey in the final hole to give Kapur a well-deserved gold.


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