Panasonic Open India: Shiv Kapur says foreign golfers will be troubled by polluted New Delhi air during event
'I think some of us are kind of immune to the pollution now. But it's not a good thing, the visitors and foreigners struggle a bit more,' added Shiv Kapur, who is from Delhi.
New Delhi: New Delhi's polluted air is a concern for golfers at a key Asian Tour event in the Indian capital this week, according to leading player Shiv Kapur.
Kapur said he would struggle through the Panasonic Open India starting on Thursday but foreign players in particular would have a hard time in the growing smog.
"You are spending five hours outdoors in bad air and smog," the 36-year-old defending champion said. "You are out there for a long period of time."
"I think for some of us we are kind of immune to it now. But it's not a good thing, the visitors and foreigners struggle a bit more," added Kapur, who is from Delhi.
The Indian capital's pollution has taken a toll on sport.
Last December Sri Lankan cricketers wore face masks during a Test match in Delhi to protest the hazardous smog.
International cricket matches are no longer organised in the city during the winter months when the toxic smog is at a peak.
Some runners wore masks during the Delhi half marathon on Sunday, when the US embassy website showed levels of the smallest, most harmful air pollutants reached 199 — eight times the World Health Organization's recommended maximum.
"I haven't found it as bad this year as it was last year," said Kapur. "Visibility was a bit of an issue. You feel a bit of fatigue and stuff."
He added: "I am like a street dog. I am used to every kind of ailment and air quality that is out there.
"As sportsmen we are made to be hardy, play in whatever course conditions, whatever weather conditions. Hopefully we will get through without any issues."
Another rising Indian golfer Viraj Madappa is also troubled by the pollution.
"It is definitely something to be concerned about. It's not the most ideal condition to be living in. It will affect us over a long period," the 21-year-old Madappa told AFP.
"But I feel it's going to be the same for everyone. Some of the Delhi guys are used to it. It's easier to catch an infection that's in the air. Some of my friends have got a bad throat or fever," Madappa, who comes from Bangalore, said.
Madappa said that while wearing a pollution mask remains an option it is not common in golf.
Every winter, air pollution in Delhi soars as cooler air traps harmful particles from crop fires, exhaust fumes, construction dust and industrial emissions.
Smog has climbed in recent weeks as temperatures have fallen and smoke from burning stubble in neighbouring states has reached the capital, mingling with urban pollutants.
The WHO in May listed 14 Indian cities, including Delhi, in the world's top 15 with the dirtiest air.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Safeway Open golf: Stewart Cink clinches first title since 2009 British Open to end 11-year winless run
Cink fired eight birdies in a seven-under par 65 at Silverado Resort in Napa, California, his 21-under total of 267 giving him a two-shot win over Harry Higgs.
World number 171 Burns stood on a 36-hole career low of 15-under 129 at Silverado Country Club in Napa, California.
PGA Tour Championship: World No 1 Dustin Johnson claims three-shot victory to clinch FedEx Cup, $15 million prize
Dustin Johnson became the first No 1 seed at the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup since Tiger Woods in 2009.