CHENNAI: It's a big year for Indian golfers. The country is represented in the world's leading Tours. Anirban Lahiri is playing in the USPGA, SSP Chawrasia in Europe and a host of players including Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jeev Milkha Singh and Shiv Kapur in the Asian Tour. With two events gone in each of these Tours in 2017, and Indians registering just one top-10 finish, Shubhankar Sharma has been the one to make the right moves.
After tied 11th in Singapore, the Panchkula pro finished tied ninth in Myanmar on Sunday. Early days, but he is the lone Indian in the top 10 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, at 10, with earnings of $27,696 (`18.86 lakh approx). Lahiri started the year with a missed cut, before finishing tied 25th in the second event. Chawrasia managed a tied 70th in the first and missed cut in the second.
Bhullar was in lead in the first event before finishing tied 18th. He failed to make it to the business rounds in Myanmar, where Kapur was tied 34th, Rahil Gangjee tied 43rd and Jyoti Randhawa tied 70th. With top guns yet to fire, Sharma is building a case for himself. Sponsored by the Chennai-based TAKE Solutions, the 21-year-old played under-par in all four rounds in Myanmar to return a tally of eight-under, which was six behind winner Tod Sinnott of Australia. ?Shubhankar is a talented player, with an all-round game, who appears to be cut out for the long run. After doing well in India, he was impressive in Asia last year in his rookie year.
Given that his journey in international golf has just started, he is doing well. To hold you own among seasoned pros and finishing in the top 10 or thereabouts is no mean achievement,? Chawrasia told Express. Speaking from Doha where he missed the cut, the winner of two titles last year felt too much shouldn't be read into the sedate start by Indians. ?Sometimes, it takes a bit of time to get used to things, especially if you are playing abroad. If you notice, Indians tend to do better as the season goes on. Three of the four titles won by us last year came in the second half. It's been an okay start. There are many events to go. We'll get better,? added Chawrasia.