Twenty-one-year-old Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma continued his spectacular year and earned a spot in next week's US Open Golf Championships with a solid display of 69-68 in the qualifiers at Columbus.
Twenty-one-year-old Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma continued his spectacular year and earned a spot in next week’s US Open Golf Championships with a solid display of 69-68 in the qualifiers at Columbus. The Indian sensation finished on the fifth spot in the qualifiers held at Brookside GCC and Lakes Golf and Country Club. Unfortunately, the two other Indians — Shiv Kapur, playing the qualifier at Walton Heath, Surrey and Arjun Atwal, playing in Tennessee — failed to earn a spot.
Sharma was excited about his win. “It was a great day for me. It was a long one with 36 holes but I am glad I played the Brookside in the morning as it is tougher with smaller greens. I grinded it out for a 69,” he said after qualifying for the prestigious tournament which will be held at the the Shinnecock Hills this year.
Shubhankar said that he was nervous at the start and committed a few errors. But, the 21-year-old golfer made up for it in the later rounds.
“But it was nervy ending on the 18th (in second round). I hit to the left off the tee and it took a bad bounce and it went into the rough. I had a terrible lie and I had to hit with one foot in the bunker with 150 yards to the front of the green. I hit a 9-Iron, which stayed short and again in the rough, thick lie. But I made a great up and down. I hit a good chip to 10 feet and holed it for par. At that stage I did not know the scores and felt that I needed to make par to have any chance,” he said,
In what has been a terrific year, Shubhankar has already played the Masters on a special invite and has now qualified for the US Open. He had also earned a spot into the Open Championships at Carnoustie after winning the Joburg Open.
However, the youngster needs to stay in Top-100 of the world to play the last Major, the PGA Championships.
In the qualifiers, Korea’s Sungjae Im (67-68) shared the top spot with Shane Lowry (68-67). Keegan Bradley (66-70) and Brian Gay (68-68) were Tied-3rd, while Sharma was Tied-5th with Russell Knox, Michael Putnam and two others.
Meanwhile, Shiv Kapur who has qualified in the past from Surrey, shot 74 in the first round and then withdrew. Andrew Johnston won the honours and the qualifiers also included Hero Indian Open winner, Matt Wallace, who finished ahead of Shubhankar at the Indian event.
The other Indian player in action – Arjun Atwal missed qualifying from Tennessee as he shot 72-71. Sam Burns, Steve Stricker and Aaron Wise were among the 11 players making the US Open from there.