Kapur earns Euro Tour card with Dubai victory
Shiv Kapur won the European Challenge Tour’s Grand Final in Dubai, but the victory paled in comparison to the bigger reward he earned for his second Challenge Tour win of the season.
Kapur took the Challenge Tour’s season finale by four shots over Scotland’s Jamie McLeary and Jose Felipe Lima of Portugal. Kapur returned scores of 69-66-67-70 for a 16-under total of 272. It earned him a check for €56,650. It also gives him a card for the 2014 European Tour season.
The top 15 on the Challenge Tour money list earned spots on next year’s European Tour. Kapur jumped from 20th at the start of the week to finish fourth behind Italy’s Andrea Pavan.
“I have had five or six professional wins but given the circumstances and everything leading up to the week, this one is right up there with the best of them,” the former Purdue player said.
“I have spent seven years on The European Tour and I've wanted to get back there. It’s a great tour which is going from strength to strength and I cannot wait to get back. I'm really looking forward to the year.”
Kapur, who led this year’s Open Championship at Muirfield after the first round, only played nine events on this year’s Challenge Tour. His Dubai winner’s check took his earnings to €118,323.
Pavan became the second Italian to top the money list after Edoardo Molinari in 2009. Former Texas A&M player Pavan finished the season with €147,811 in earnings, over €22,000 ahead of Lima.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Pavan, a two-time Challenge Tour winner this season. “I'm so happy with how things turned out this year and I'm really looking forward to next year.”
McLeary’s joint second place finish earned him a check for €29,425 and vaulted him to 15th on the money list to take the last card for next year’s European Tour. The former Baylor player has made several attempts at getting his European Tour card, but has failed at each attempt.
“I worried that I would never make it to the European Tour, that I was one of those guys that was really consistent but without the big finishes at the big events that I needed,” the 32-year-old Edinburgh native said. “It has taken a lot longer than I thought it would, and the older you get the more nervous you get, but I’ve got my chance and I’m confident I’ll take it.”
As always, though, there were hard luck stories too. Daniel Im of the United States and England’s Sam Walker arrived in Dubai holding the 13th and 14th spots respectively on the money list. Walker placed 29th while Im finished 33rd and they had dropped to 16th and 17th spots.