Turkish Open golf: Shubhankar eyes good show

The top-60 after this week get to South Africa next week, but with dropouts, it will likely come down to 70-72nd place and Shubhankar is currently placed 81st.

Shubhankar Sharma needs to do well to get to South Africa and then Dubai.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES


Bolstered by a decent but late run in the season, Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma will be eyeing steady outings in the the lucrative season-ending series, beginning with USD seven million Turkish Airlines Open which starts here on Thursday.

Shubhankar had registered decent results of late, which included tied-seventh finish at the Italian Open, a Rolex Series event where he was ahead of Justin Rose.

Shubhankar needs to do well to get into the field next week, before the DP World Tour Championships, for which only the top-50 will qualify.

The top-60 after this week get to South Africa next week, but with dropouts, it will likely come down to 70-72nd place and Shubhankar is currently placed 81st.

READ| McIlroy lauds 'incredible' Woods as the greatest and most resilient golfer

“It is a very important week for me but I am taking it like another tournament. Getting into this week was important and having done it, I am not too worried. If I don’t do well, it’s not like a sword hanging over my head,” Shubhankar said.

“Having said that I still want to do well and get into next week (South Africa) and then Dubai. But if I don’t then I get some more rest,” he said.

On the Montgomerie Course Maxx Royale having five Par-5s and five Par-3s, he said, “It is a very different kind of a course with five Par-5s and five Par-3s. I have never played in a course like that. So you don’t know what’s here but it is good for scoring.

“I have been hitting my irons well, so I don’t mind five Par-3s and good iron play will be rewarded.”

ALSO READ| Tiger savours 'crazy' record after matching Snead for 82 career wins

Shubhankar has also sorted out his problems with his footwear. He needed a shoe with an elevated heel, which is what he has used all his career. “It has all worked out and the results have been good,” he said.

On the season, the 23-year-old Indian added, “It’s not been a great year, it’s been so-so (average) but it has been a year of learning for me. I am definitely a better player now than what I was at this time of the year last year.”

“I feel if I play my ‘A’ game, I can go out and win there, even though I haven’t done it for some time now since last season in Malaysia,” said Shubhankar, who is accompanied by his childhood coach, Jesse Grewal this week.

Shubhankar is paired with Jordan Smith and Richie Ramsay for the first round and they tee off at 10.10 am at the Montgomerie Maxx Royale, which is just 15 minutes from last year’s venue at Regnum Carya.

Bernd Wiesberger, who was out for seven months because of an injury last year, finds himself right on top of the 2019 Race to Dubai.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook