Shubhankar Sharma, for the second successive Major, will be the lone Indian in the fray as the US Open gets underway on Thursday.
The 21-year-old Indian, who was given a special invite to the Masters this April, came through a gruelling 36-hole qualifier to make it to the US Open. A good showing at the US Open could help Sharma make an attempt to gain temporary membership on the PGA Tour.
Ranked as low at 462nd at the start of December 2017, Sharma rose dramatically to enter the world’s Top-100 with a victory in December in Joburg Open and he added a second win at the Malaysian Championships in February. Currently at No. 77, he is now the highest ranked Indian in the world.
Having already qualified for the Open Championships at Carnoustie next month, Sharma needs to stay in Top-100 to ensure a berth into the final Major, the PGA Championships in August. If he manages that, he will become only the third Indian to have played all four Majors in a single year. But, it is not just records of participation that Sharma is interested in, he also wants to win them.
Having led the WGC-Mexico for 54 holes before finishing T-9th, the young Indian showed that he is indeed capable of holding his own against the best. “It was a great day for me. But now that I am in it, I want more,” says Sharma.
Having reached the Shinnecock Hills well in advance, after playing at the Colonial and the Memorial, Sharma is in good frame of mind. He had a fine weekend with 66-67 at the Par-70 course.
He missed the cut the following week at the Memorial, but he felt confident with his hitting. The form Sharma showed at the qualifiers in Columbus, Ohio, indicates that he can do well in the US Open, which is always considered the toughest Major.
Sharma has been paired with Thorbjorn Olesen and Patrick Rogers at 8.24 am for the first round.
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