Shubhankar Sharma to represent India at Melbourne World Cup of Golf

On Friday, tournament officials declared the 22-year-old as one of the first 28 participating players.

Shubhankar Sharma sits at No. 105 in the Official World Golf Rankings.   -  Getty Images

India’s Shubhankar Sharma is set to participate in the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf in November, 2018. On Friday, Shubhankar was one of the first 28 participating players declared by tournament officials.

The tourney, to be held at The Metropolitan Golf Club, will possess the largest prize-money purse in Australian golf — USD seven million. Shubhankar will be one of 56 players in the fray.

Looking forward to the event, Shubhankar said, “I’m really excited to qualify for my first World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan. Since the start of the year, I made this event as one of my goals to try and qualify as it has so much history, tradition and a wonderful list of past champions which include many of the great names and legends in golf.”

‘Going to be fun’

“To have the opportunity to represent India at a prestigious event like this is truly an honour and I will give it everything to try and win the World Cup for my country. We don’t get too many opportunities to play for our nation, so it’s going to be fun with whoever I pick as my partner when we get down to Australia,” he added.

Having won the 2017 JoBurg Open and the 2018 Maybank Championship, Shubhankar sits at No. 105 in the Official World Golf Rankings. He has also ensured a pair of top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour this season; at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship in March, he led into the final round and finished tied-ninth.

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India first competed in the World Cup in 1969, with Shadi Lal and Ryda Valjii in the team. India’s best finish in the tournament was in 2005, when the team of Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa finished ninth in Portugal.

The committed player from each of the top 28 countries has until 5 pm USA ET (Eastern Time) on September 20 to choose his partner for the event. The field of 56 players will be final on September 20.

The 72-hole stroke play team format will feature Four-ball (best ball) play in the first and third rounds and Foursomes (alternate shot) play in the second and final rounds. In 2016, Danes Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen shot a final-round 66 in foursomes at Kingston Heath to win Denmark’s first World Cup of Golf title by four strokes over the United States, China and France.

The 2018 edition will be a 72-hole, two-man team format, and affords the opportunity for the top players in the game to represent their countries on an international stage. The first and third days of competition are four-ball (best ball) format and the second and final days are foursomes (alternate shot) play. It will be the sixth time it is held in Australia and three years in a row at the Melbourne Sandbelt region.