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July 19, 2013

Shiv Kapur


SHIV KAPUR: Today the wind was totally opposite. So when you're standing on the tees you're trying go to figure out -- it's a lot of guesswork. For example, let me see, on the 9th hole today I've hit 3-iron off the tee. I've hit 3-iron, 6-iron. And yesterday I've hit driver, 2-iron, 8-iron, you know. So it's completely a different golf course. And there's a lot of sort of adjustments out there. Then when you get off to a bad start, you're just trying to -- like I was saying, hang on, because there's not too many birdie opportunities, so to speak, on the back nine, even though the holes playing into the wind played downwind. Even downwind holes it's tough to get it close to the hole because it's so bouncy up. I thought I did a pretty good job after that bad start to hang on for a while. And unfortunately had the dreaded "S" word on the 17th with my third shot. I had a wedge in there and I shanked it into the green, and actually did well to make a bogey. And had a bad drive on 18. So finishing bogey, bogey was disappointing. But I think I did well to sort of hang on and keep the score for 16 holes.

Q. (Inaudible.)
SHIV KAPUR: I managed to keep big numbers off the card today. There was a few places where I could. I made a bunch of bogeys, which isn't great, but at least I kept it down to bogeys and didn't really make any high numbers, which you can. On the 4th hole I got plugged under the lip of the bunker, and I could have walked out with anything. The first one was plugged. I was trying to play it out to the left. It hit the lip, came back down and plugged even further into the lip. And actually what I think was my best shot of the tournament where I was aiming left of the green and opened the club face off and managed to get it up and down from plug lie to bogey. You can easily make six or seven, and then you're fighting hard to stay in the tournament. So I think that was one consolation of today that I managed to hang in there and still be in the mix somewhere, and hopefully I can recreate some of the magic on the weekend that I did yesterday.

Q. You did manage a couple of birdies.
SHIV KAPUR: Yeah, the putter was just not hot. Yesterday you're holing putts and the game seems easy. I hit a lot of good putts that didn't really go in. I had a horseshoe out on 13. It came straight back at me. I thought I had a good putt there. That happens. I had a few good breaks yesterday.

Q. Yesterday you didn't visit the bunkers much?
SHIV KAPUR: That's links golf. If you stay out of the bunkers usually you'll manage some kind of score. But in the bunkers it's a big, big penalty. You'd almost rather be in the rough than the bunkers. I found a few and each time I did, it wasn't quite even in the middle of the bunker. It was usually under the lip, as well. So it was just managing to get out of the bunker was a battle in itself.

Q. The scoring has been very tough today. Are you happy to hang in there?
SHIV KAPUR: Well, I haven't looked at the scores at all. I just know that the leaderboard is 5-under or whatever is leading. But it's not easy. And especially when the wind changes, like I said, it's a totally different golf course, and all the practice rounds played in different winds as well. The greens are definitely getting harder on the back nine. The front nine I found myself leaving quite a few putts short, because in any mind I still had the speed from yesterday. And you can't get yourself to hit it far enough past the hole, because you've seen them roll that far past yesterday. But on the back nine, I'm told they're drying out again. And the last five or six holes, some of that stuff that happened yesterday afternoon was happening again.

Q. Would you have taken where you are right now on Thursday morning?
SHIV KAPUR: Probably, to be honest. The way the golf course is playing, to be a couple of over after two rounds, yes. But it's hard to say.

Q. In terms of your career, is this a career-changing week for you? Is this the catalyst that can really help to elevate you?
SHIV KAPUR: I guess you'll find out. We've still got a couple of days to go.

Q. Beyond that. The confidence?
SHIV KAPUR: Yeah, definitely yesterday gave me a lot of self-belief that, hey, if you're going to lead a Major at some point, you can do it. The more times you put yourself in that position, the better you'll be at it. And I think that's the difference between perhaps me and most of the players is they regularly get themselves in contention. But the fact that I even did it for nine holes means the ability is there, it's just a question of getting a bit more consistency in the game and being able to do it on a regular basis.

Q. You're still improving, you feel? Still a lot to improve on?
SHIV KAPUR: Absolutely, especially today. I think it always comes down to the short game. You can harp on about playing in the wind and all of that, but it's always the guys that are making the putts that are on the top end of the leaderboard. And I think even Tiger, as impressive as his ball-striking is and his recovery shots are, he makes the amount of putts and the most important putts at the crucial time. So I think that's one area where you can keep improving and there's never any ceiling to that, you just keep trying. There's a few things, in the left-to-right cross breeze I found myself missing it left a couple of times today. So that's something I need to work on as well. I like to fade the ball, and a strong left, right breeze usually isn't my favorite wind. So that's something I hope I can improve on, as well.

Q. Is it still your ambition to get to the PGA Tour?
SHIV KAPUR: Well, yes, of course. That is where the best players in the world are playing. That is where the highest prize money is. That's where everybody is. So I need to be in a position where when I get out there, I know I can compete and play well, and obviously the best route to get to that is to get in the top 125 in the world and sort of find your way there. So it's definitely going to be a goal. I think I've still got a lot of years left in me. I'm only 31. And in golf, as you can see, Jimenez is 49. There's enough guys in their 50s making a bit of noise. So I think I'm still in the first quarter of my professional career.

Q. You still have hunger, appetite to really --
SHIV KAPUR: I think more so. I think when you first come out there's a lot of unknowns. There's a lot of, you've heard, and what is the PGA Tour all about, what are the majors all about. And it's a bit of a folklore. But when you play in them, you realize this is where you really want to be. This is what really excites me. So I want to work harder and harder to be competing in Majors regularly, because this is the best feeling in the world.

Q. (Inaudible.)
SHIV KAPUR: A bit of both, I think.

Q. Despite your round of 77, how satisfying is it to make the first time --
SHIV KAPUR: That is obviously -- you've got a great field of players here, so if you're in the top 65 or 70, whatever it is, you know you've got game and you're playing all right. But obviously that's one sort of stumbling block out of the way, and now I just need to look forward to the weekend and move as high up on the leaderboard as I can.

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