Shiv Kapur is completely focussed on making his comeback to the European Tour through the Challenge Tour route when is tees up at the Finnish Challenge here.
Kapur had recently stunned the golf world by topping the leaderboard after nine holes on first day at The Open Championship. The Indian reached one of the headiest heights of his career as he birdied six of his opening seven holes at Muirfield two weeks ago to storm to the top of the leaderboard during the first day of the oldest of the four Majors.
By the time he reached the ninth green, Kapur was catapulted into the limelight as the TV cameras and dozens of photographers perused his every move. It was a day Kapur will never forget and one which makes him even more determined in his efforts to build on a maiden Challenge Tour title, at the season-opening Gujarat Kensville Challenge, and claim a top 15 spot in the rankings.
"It was an amazing experience," said the 31-year-old from New Delhi. "You grow up as a kid hoping one day you will see your name up on that leaderboard. The Open Championship for me is the greatest tournament of them all because growing up in India, that was the one Major we would watch and look forward to. It was a surreal experience and I really soaked it in.
"At the ninth I looked up and saw the leaderboard and it was just, 'wow'. Obviously I would have liked to have played four solid rounds but being up there at the top momentarily is certainly better than never being up there at all," he said.
"It was nice to steal the limelight from Tiger Woods, playing on the same side of the draw, momentarily. I got some nice messages from people saying it was the proudest moment of their lives seeing the Indian flag atop the leaderboard at The Open. People in my club said they never thought they would see in their lifetime -- an Indian leading a Major. There was so much positive feedback," Kapur explained.
On how he is getting back to the daily grind of tournament golf after being in the limelight for sometime, Kapur said. "It is difficult.
"Last week in Russia was difficult for me because I was mentally fatigued from the whole thing, completely spent. I haven't played many Challenge Tour events so far because I've had a few European Tour events and I'm also trying to juggle the Asian Tour but I have come to a point in the season where I'm going to play three or four events here and give it a go and see what happens."
Other players in the field at Kytaja Golf, in Hyvinkaa near Helsinki, includes former Ryder Cup players Jarmo Sandelin and Oliver Wilson, as well as three-time European Tour winner Nick Dougherty.
Kapur is also joined by six other winners from the 2013 Challenge Tour season, including Francois Calmels, who only needs one more victory to earn automatic promotion to The European Tour.