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May 28, 2009

Shiv Kapur


SHIV KAPUR: I played nine holes yesterday in the morning and went home and had a rest. I came out today and just said, keep the ball in play and give yourself chances. Basically tried to hit lots of fairways and greens and managed to do that.
The one fairway I missed on 18, I made bogey, so it was a blemish-free round until then. So a good start.

Q. This is the continuation of some good form; in Ireland you played well, and you always seem to do all right at Wentworth.
SHIV KAPUR: Yeah, sometimes the tough part is to be patient when you're playing well, and I've had some sort of the middle-of-the-pack, mid-30 finishes the last three weeks, and I want to build on that.
I felt like I've been playing well. Last week, the putter didn't behave; I got blown away with the wind on the weekend. Not everything has come together. But I stuck to my game plan and things seem to come together.

Q. Are you a patient guy?
SHIV KAPUR: Not by nature, so I have to work very hard on it. Instant gratification kind of person. So I'm obviously in the wrong sport, but I guess I'm getting better and making a conscious effort to sort of work on that and it's paid off.

Q. How do you make that effort, if you're emotional and just want to react in one way; it's hard to check yourself?
SHIV KAPUR: Well, do I a bit of medication, the Out of Living, some yoga and meditation and stuff and that's helped me calm myself down and stay in the moment rather than get ahead of myself. I think I managed to do that pretty well today.
Even after hitting a bad drive on 18, I wasn't thinking about, you don't want to drop a shot. I was just thinking, takes one good shot to make four, so I think that's the difference between now and last year when I was sort of struggling, to post a score when I really wasn't playing that badly.
So I don't think my game has really changed much. I just think it's a little better attitude.

Q. Tell us about the meditation, were you persuaded to?
SHIV KAPUR: A combination of factors, a couple of sports men, Leander Paes, tennis player, he told me to do it, and Jeev has always been telling me to sort of look into yoga and meditation. I always said I don't need it, but when you hit a bad patch you'll do a lot of things and I think it was a blessing in disguise. So I've turned to that and put me in good stead.

Q. When you actually start out, are you thinking it's no good?
SHIV KAPUR: Exactly, it teaches you patience, you go in there with a lot of expectations, thinking, oh, next week is going to be good and it's not. It takes a few weeks to settle in and takes a few weeks to get used to you being patient.
I think that you have to make a conscious effort. You have to decide in your mind that this is what you want to do. I sort of felt that's all that I was really lacking and I didn't think my game was sort of lacking in my department. It was just a bit of impatient expense bad attitude.

Q. I would imagine with the meditation itself, it takes getting used to, because you'll have so many doubts when you first sit there and probably can't relax.
SHIV KAPUR: Not at all, your mind is all over the place, but you have to sort of persevere with it and you get better with time. The first time you do it, you do well if you can get to 30 seconds and then build it up to a few minutes. Now I found I'm getting better at it, and hopefully I can keep up that attitude and say, well, I've done it now and I don't need to do it anymore. That's basically been the main change.

Q. Where are you now with it time-wise?
SHIV KAPUR: I don't really time it because you know when you're doing it, you're not sort of sitting there with a clock. You are sort of doing a few breathing exercises and different exercises with it. The whole thing takes me 20 minutes, and I try to do it if I've got a late start in the mornings, or an early start, I do it in the evenings.

Q. Do you go into another state of mind?
SHIV KAPUR: I just come out of it a lot calmer. I did a one week course in India called 'Out of Living' and I just came out of it sort of not expecting too much, staying more in the moment rather than letting your mind race ahead or stay in the past. You just kind of take each day in golf, each shot as it comes, and I think that's the oldest cliché in golf, you play one shot at a time and I think that's what's helped me, too.

Q. Do you have an awareness that you're doing it while you're doing it?
SHIV KAPUR: There is an awareness and a lot of times on the golf course you have to check yourself and remind yourself, just stay patient, it's going to happen, just stick with it, play one shot at a time. I wasn't very good at that I guess in the past. When you're not having much success, your mind is all over the place, and that's really what it's helped me do.

Q. Can you get into a meditative state on a golf course?
SHIV KAPUR: I wish. Not that good.

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