India’s Shubhankar Sharma ready for dream debut at Masters Tournament
New Delhi, March 31: Indian star Shubhankar Sharma will finally realise his dream of playing at Augusta National when he makes his debut at the Masters Tournament next week.
The 21-year-old is relishing the opportunity to make his first appearance in a Major championship after accepting an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament following his heroics at the WGC-Mexico Championship where he finished in tied ninth place.
As an aspiring golfer, Sharma who is sponsored by Take Solutions, DLF and Indorama Ventures, recalled how he and his father woke up late at night to watch the Masters Tournament on television and remembering the layout of each hole at Augusta National.
“I think I’m suited for Augusta National. I actually know all the holes by heart. I can’t wait to get there and see if the holes look the same the way I see them on television and the way I played them in my mind over the years,” said Sharma.
“I know my best will be good enough to contend there. I’ll be heading there with confidence and I’ll have a lot of fun. It’ll be my first Major tournament and I’m really looking forward to it,” added the world number 68th.
Sharma has come a long way since starting his career on the Asian Tour in 2014. He burst onto the scene in December last year when he won the Joburg Open in South Africa with a 23-under-par winning total which included a 61 in the second round. He then followed up with another fantastic performance by winning the Maybank Championship in Malaysia in February after a closing 62.
He enjoyed a memorable debut at the WGC-Mexico Championship where he led in the second and third rounds and was praised by eventual winner Phil Mickelson, who played with the Indian in the final round.
Currently leading the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, Sharma hopes to continue his impressive streak.
“I’m really happy with what has happened to me so far. Obviously, the Asian Tour played a big role, as the Tour has given me the opportunity to compete and helped me develop my game to my current level.
“It feels fantastic to see the hard work paying off. Things happened so fast for me. I won the Maybank Championship a month back. Now, I received an invitation to the Masters Tournament. A lot has happened since my win at the Joburg Open,” said Sharma.
The son of an Indian army colonel, Sharma was disappointed he did not take advantage of his two-shot lead heading into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship but the disappointment was swiftly erased when he received the Masters Tournament invitation.
“I was quite tough on myself throughout the flight back to India, as I didn’t finish the tournament the way I expect it, but as soon as I got the call, all the pain got washed away. I’m really happy to be able to play in the Masters Tournament. It’s every golfer’s dream to play in the Masters, and I’m no exception,” he said.
Sharma will become the fourth Indian player to compete in the Masters Tournament after Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri.