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Kapur is Rookie of the Year

December 13, 2005 16:18 IST

Winner of the season ending Volvo Masters of Asia, Shiv Kapur's growing reputation got yet another boost as he was crowned the 'Rookie of the Year' at the Asian Tour's Awards Night 2005 on Monday.

Shiv KapurKapur, who secured his maiden Asian Tour title on Sunday, finished fourth in the Overall Order of Merit and overtook the previous leader for the reward Andrew Buckle at the very last event of the year.

"Winning Volvo Masters of Asia, the season-ending Tour championships was a dream and the 'Rookie of the Year' was a bonus," said Kapur, who flew to Okinawa the very next day for the 2006 season-opener at the Asia-Okinawa Open in Japan.

"I am still dazed by all that has happened in the last few hours and it will slowly sink in. All I can say is that my first year on Asian Tour as a pro has gone off in the best possible way. Lot of learning, lot of good performances and a title, too. What else could I have asked for," said an elated Kapur.

Kapur also earns entry to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and Sony Open, which gave the winner of Tour Championships a direct entry. He is also likely to get into a few more events like Desert Classic in Dubai.

"I am looking forward to all the new chances I am going to get," he said. Kapur's tremendous debut year a title, a second, third and three other top-10s which pushed him to fourth place on the Order of Merit with USD 242,101.

Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant grabbed four main awards, including the prestigious Players' Player of the Year and Order of Merit titles.

On a day Thaworn, who turns 39 later this month, claimed the mantle as Asia's top player for the first time in his career, he was feted by his peers at Conrad Hotel in Bangkok.

The Thai had a record-breaking season as he won four titles and broke the season-earnings record with a cool USD 510,122.

Thaworn created plenty of thrills all year, knocking in a total of 395 birdies to win the Birdie Leader award and proved he was the master of the short game by winning the Lowest Putting Average award with 1.71 putts per hole.

"It is an honour to win the Players' Player of the Year Award as it is a title which is voted by the players," said a jubilant Thaworn.

"To earn the admiration of my fellow competitors is a nice feeling and the award is very different from winning my first Order of Merit title."

Thaworn won the co-sanctioned Standard Chartered Indonesia Open, Taiwan Open, Hero Honda Indian Open and Carlsberg Masters Vietnam to become the first player to triumph four times in a season.

He also became the player with the most number of wins -- eight -- in Asia. His terrific performances earned him invites into several lucrative events next season, including a maiden Major appearance at the British Open in July, the WGC-American Express Championship and the US PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii next month.

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