Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Shubhankar Sharma, Chawrasia, Anirban Lahiri favourites at Indian Open

Phil Mickelson with the World Golf Championship trophy in Mexico City on Sunday Phil Mickelson with the World Golf Championship trophy in Mexico City on Sunday
Nellie Chapman | 08 March, 2018, 04:04

Gurgaon: He wooed the world in his maiden PGA Tour appearance and India's latest golfing sensation Shubhankar Sharma will expectedly be the cynosure of all eyes when he tees off on home turf, leading a galaxy of local stars at the 54th Indian Open starting on Thursday.

Sharma won titles at the Joburg Open in December and the Maybank Championship in February and is enjoying a great start to the season.

Last week, he conjured up hopes of becoming the first Indian to win the World Golf Championship-Mexico when he topped the leaderboard on the second and third day on his debut before finishing a creditable tied 9th, which also earned him an invitation for the Masters.

"I was very tough on myself on the flight, I wasn't too happy with the way I finished the tournament but when I got the call all the pain washed away and I was very happy that I made it to the Masters. But my father stood behind me and said I should excel in golf", said the 21-year-star on Wednesday.

"Golf is a global game, and throughout our history we have extended invitations to deserving worldwide players not otherwise qualified", Ridley said in a statement.

Sharma has also booked a berth in the British Open after the Johannesburg win and has his sights set on more.

"It's a dream come true that I'm into Majors and hopefully I'll get into the US Open and the PGA as well".

"I think in golf anything is possible if you have four good days", he said.

"I'm glad that I'm back to my home course and trying to win this tournament".

Sharma comes into this week's Indian Open - a tournament co-sanctioned by the Asian and European tours - as a hot favourite, and said he knew what it takes to be a world-class player.

"I wanted to turn pro at a young age because I aimed at being an experienced player in five-six years time".