Rates his Joburg Open title high

The new golfing star on the horizon, Shubhankar Sharma played a round of 18 holes at the Cosmo-TNGF course — for the first tie — here on Friday with his fellow professionals and a few others.

And he seemed to enjoy every bit of it. “The greens and fairways here are good. It was great to play,” he said.”

The 21-year-old, a two-time European Tour champion, was a favourite with the kids at the course here.

Shubhankar Sharma with a young enthusiast.

Shubhankar has set his sights highs on the PGA Tour. “I’ll be in USA for a few months. I already have a full card for the next three years in the European and Asian Tours. PGA tour is the biggest tour in the world. (Am) looking to play well there. If I can make my card there, I will be happy,” he said.

Shubhankar rated the Joburg Open (his other win was the Maybank Championships) higher. “Joburg’s elevation was 1600m above sea level. The ball was going 10m longer than what it does. So one has to adjust,” he said.

According to Shubhankar, 261 players took part, which was something he hasn’t seen before. “Normally there are 140 players. It was very different, one I have never witnessed before. Moreover, I was the lone Indian. My dad wasn’t there and I didn’t have my own caddie. I am happy that I played well,” he said.

Shubhankar also believed that senior golfer Jeev Milkha Singh will make a strong comeback from the injury. “Jeev is struggling with injuries. But he is a fantastic player. He has inspired kids like me. I am sure he will make a strong fightback in the next few years,” he said.

Shubhankar has been able to maintain his composure on the course even under pressure. That trait, he attributed to his mother. “Being cool comes from my mom. She is into meditation. My dad is aggressive. I am pretty much like mom. I don’t really show my aggression,” he said.

 

Indians can win a Major in the next few years, Shubhankar felt. “First we need more Indians playing there. In Majors, the conditions are different and the crowd is much more. Indians can win it (a Major) in the next few years,” he said.

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