Masters invite wiped out WGC disappointment: Shubhankar

Masters invite wiped out WGC disappointment: Shubhankar

Masters invite wiped out WGC disappointment: Shubhankar

It is not often one talks about a 21-year-old golfer in India. But Shubhankar Sharma, with his astonishing performances, has sparked just that and is continuing to awe the world by rapidly conquering unfamiliar grounds. The recent addition to his irrepressible four months is the Masters' invite.

The coveted invitation wiped out the grief of WGC-Mexico Championships where in a remarkable debut he had led in the second and third rounds by two shots before finishing in tied ninth position. In the last fourth months, Shubhankar won the Joburg Open in South Africa in December and the Maybank Championship in Malaysia in February.

The performances, besides giving him the confidence, fanned the desire to play in Augusta Masters. So much that he spent each night in Mexico watching videos of the previous Masters tournaments.

"Gurbaaz Mann was on my bag for three weeks and after I missed the cuts at Oman and Qatar, I told him, Gurbaaz I have to play the Masters and I remember before sleeping every day we used to have this night show watching the Masters like the 1986 Masters etc and so we had a Masters night every night at WGC," Shubhankar said.

"I was quite tough on myself throughout the flight back to India, as I didn't finish the tournament the way I wanted but all the pain got washed away when I got the call. I'm really happy to be able to play in the Masters Tournament. Its every golfer's dream to play in the Masters, and I'm no exception."

Shubhankar will become the fourth Indian player to compete in the Masters, following Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri.

"I think in golf, anything is possible, you have to play well for four days. I know that if I play my best, I' am good for a top five, or even a win at the Masters Tournament. I am really looking forward to it," he said.

The Indian admitted gaining rich experience playing at Mexico last week. "I played in front of a massive crowd. People were cheering me on. I gave my 100 per cent, but sometimes things don't work out for you," said Shubhankar, who was paired with legend Phil Mickelson. "I was paired with a legend of the game. I wasn't focusing on him, but I did notice some of the great shots that he made. It was great to see how he has conducted himself."

Shubhankar, who is leading in Oder of Merit on both the Asian and European Tours, is now chasing his next dream this week – winning the Hero Indian Open.

"I have also been coming to the tournament almost every year," said Shubhankar, who has been groomed on the course before shifting base to Chandigarh last year.

"Playing in front of your home crowd is the best thing in any sport. I will try to win this tournament against such a great field."

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