Seven years after his first and only Major appearance, Shiv Kapur shot a stunning six-under 64 on a rainy afternoon in the second round of the 36-hole qualifier to earn a berth at the 2013 British Open.
Kapur grabbed one of the three spots available from the Local Final Qualifying in Dunbar. The Indian, who was lying tied 11th after a first round of one-under 69, was two-under for the front nine in the second round.
He then went all out on the back nine and nailed four birdies for a flawless 64 and finished the 36-hole qualifiers at seven-under 133.
His birdies came on the fourth, ninth, 11th, 13th, 14th, and most crucially on the closing 18th. In the morning, he played the first round with an eagle on par-5 second and a birdie on 15th and bogeys on sixth and 13th.
Finishing one shot ahead of Kapur was local amateur Grant Forrest who shot 67 and 65 for an 8-under-par aggregate. The third berth from Dunbar went to a 45-year-old Melbourne club professional John Wade, who took a holiday to play the qualifier (70-63).
"I wanted to try to qualify on a links course because I think that’s the proper way to do it. It was the first time I had played a links course since this time last year, so it was all a bit strange to start with, but I soon got the hang of things again. I played beautifully this afternoon," Kapur said.
Kapur`s last and only appearance at a Major came at Royal Liverpool in 2006, a year after he had a sensational Rookie year on Asian Tour.
He had won the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia and was adjudged Rookie of the year for 2005.
"Basically the reason you play golf is to compete in the Majors against the best and there is no greater tournament than the Open Championship with all its history.
"It feels great and to shoot on a tough rainy afternoon and basically play my round of the summer when it matter most is a great feeling.
"I am really looking forward to Muirfield and it was one of my goals this year to get back to the Majors," added Kapur, who this year won the Gujarat Kensville Challenge on European Challenge Tour this year and also finished tied 10th at Lyoness Open.
Ahead of Kapur was the 20-year-old Forrest has just finished his first year at the University of San Diego and will be representing his country in next week’s European Team Championship in Denmark.
From the other qualifiers, Kent’s Steven Tiley, who made a name for himself at St Andrews three years ago, will be back in The Open at Muirfield in a fortnight. Tiley dominated the 36-hole LFQ event at The Musselburgh, handing in scores of 64 and 69 to win by three from Scot Lloyd Saltman and Tyrrell Hatton on 9-under-par.
At Gullane No.1 amateur Ben Stow (72-68 ) led the other two qualifiers, Swede Oscar Floren (72-69) and another amateur, 18-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick (69-72), who was last year’s Boys’ Amateur champion.
From the same qualifiers, Colin Montgomerie (69-76) failed to get to the Open and earn himself a return to the course where he had such a rollercoaster ride 11 years ago.
Yet another amateur, Jimmy Mullen (68-68) at six-under 136 led the three qualifiers from North Berwick. The other two were Gareth Wright (69-68) and George Murray (73-64).