Shubhankar Sharma pleased with debut showing at The Open
- Carnoustie, Scotland, July 22: Shubhankar Sharma of India rounded off a memorable week after closing with a two-over-par 73 to finish in tied-51st place at The 147th Open at Carnoustie on Sunday.
Sharma, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday, nailed two birdies in his opening five holes but dropped shots on the eighth, 11th, 13th and 15th holes to end his campaign 12 shots back of winner Francesco Molinari at the world’s oldest Major championship.
Despite falling off the pace, Sharma is looking on the bright side of things, having made his first Major cut in his debut appearance at The Open, a tournament which he had dreamt about playing since he was a kid.
“I was happy to give myself a birdie putt on the last even though I didn’t make it. I kept trying till the end. It’s a great tournament and definitely a good learning curve for me. I’m satisfied with the way I played,” said Sharma, who leads the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings.
Apart from learning to love links golf, Sharma also reckoned that he has grown as a player after gaining invaluable experiences from his Open debut.
“I can’t wait to come back again next time. I will draw on the experiences that I got. Felt a little pressure on the second day when I was outside the cutline. I really wanted to play the weekend because it was my birthday yesterday. I didn’t want to be sad on my birthday,” Sharma laughed.
“I haven’t played too much links course before. This is only my third time so I am happy with the result. It’s very different from what we usually play back home in Asia. A lot of learning this week. I felt like I’ve just grown as a player this week.
Sharma earned his spot at The Open after breaking through at the Joburg Open last December. He went on to claim his second victory two months later at the Maybank Championship and broke into top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for the first time in his career.
He continued his remarkable rise at the World Golf Championships in Mexico where he came in top-10 in his first attempt. That spectacular finish earned him an invitation to The Masters and he would go on to qualify for the US Open in June.
Fellow Open debutant Masahiro Kawamura of Japan emerged as the best-placed Asian Tour player at the year’s third Major after he closed with a second straight 71 to finish in tied-39th place.
Yuta Ikeda of Japan ended his campaign with a 74 to match the week’s efforts of Sharma while reigning Merit champion Gavin Green of Malaysia, who also closed with a 74, settled for a share of 61st place alongside a host of players, including South African Shaun Norris.
Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat fought hard for a closing 74 to finish in tied-75th place at The Open, where he made the weekend rounds for the first time in his fifth attempt this week.