Harding takes title at Royal Cup golf

Kapur shares second place with three others

Pattaya (Thailand)

Defending champion Shiv Kapur of India battled to a final round 71 to share the second place with Australia’s Jake McLeod (67), American Kurt Kitayama (67) and Chapchai Nirat of Thailand at the Royal Cup golf tournament here on Sunday.

Nirat finished as the highest ranked local player following a 68 in his final round.

Justin Harding of South Africa cruised to a six-shot victory to become the first player since 2011 to win back-to-back titles on the Asian Tour.

The in-form Harding fired a three-under-par 67 in the final round of the $500,000 Asian Tour event. With a winning total of 14-under-par 266, Harding became the first player to win twice in his first two starts in Asia.

The 32-year-old won the Indonesia Open two weeks ago and took home the winner’s purse of $90,000 while earning his fourth title in two months at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

“I’m disappointed obviously. Around the turn I played poorly and made a bad decision on the ninth hole in my second shot and then ended making double bogey and carried on the frustration to make bogey on the next hole. So that’s when I lost the tournament and played myself out of it but I’m proud with the way I came back from that despite being completely out of sorts I managed to fight back and finish second,” Kapur said.

“Every time you’re defending a title you want to defend it well and I think I can be pretty proud of the way I came and played this week. I haven’t been able to play with my injuries and I haven’t been able to play the kind of schedule I wanted to. I’m glad I had a week to get the rest I needed,” he added.

“The idea is to take the momentum forward and kick on like how I did last season. So I am hoping this will spur me on and bring me more success in the second half.”

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