Sharma hails Asian Tour’s role in his rise up the ranks

India’s Shubhankar Sharma has lauded the role the Asian Tour played in his incredible rise up the golfing hierarchy, culminating in him receiving an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament this April at Augusta National.

“I’m really happy with what has happened to me so far. Obviously, the Asian Tour played a big role by giving me the opportunity to compete and develop my game to my current level. 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,” said Sharma, who is back in India for this week’s US$1.75 million Hero Indian Open.

The 21-year-old came off a top-10 finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship and flew halfway across the world to compete in his national Open, which is being played at the Gary Player layout of the DLF Golf & Country Club. While Sharma was slightly disappointed with his finish in Mexico having led the tournament after 54 holes, all was forgotten upon receiving the call from Buzzy Johnson, senior director of the Masters Tournament.

“I started with Professional Golf Tour of India and I was with the Asian Tour for the past three years. The progression has been great. It is tough to move out of India and compete internationally, as the conditions are different and you are away from your loved ones. It was only in 2016 when I got my full Asian Tour card. I played pretty well last year and I’m very happy to cap off the year with a win,” noted Sharma, who won the 2017 Joburg Open and 2018 Maybank Championship, both of whic are co-sanctined by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

With the Joburg Open being part of The Open Qualifying Series, Sharma also secured a spot in this year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie in July. This week, however, his focus is on doing well in his home Open.

“The Indian Open is very close to my heart. I witness every Indian Open before I turned professional. It has always been a dream for me if I can win it. I’m really looking forward to it. The field is great and the course is well maintained,” he shared.

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