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The Masters: Shubhankar Sharma hopes to bring more Golf awareness in India

European Tour
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Posted by Admin 04 Apr 2018

It’s uncommon to find individuals who have risen from obscurity to prominence but not let the proximity to power go to their heads.  India’s latest golfing sensation Shubhankar Sharma is a perfect example of the same.  The Indian Golfer, who received a special invitation to compete at the Augusta National Golf Club following an impressive PGA Tour debut at the WGC-Mexico Championship last month, is looking forward to proving his mettle at the US Masters that starts off today.

 

 

Shubhankar Sharma at the Masters

 

 

 

Sharma is much aware of the fact that he has a golden opportunity to bring more golf awareness back to India, especially to the younger generation of sports fans. He is only the fourth Indian player to play at the Masters after Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri.

 

But he is relishing the chance to be that role model for aspiring players, similar to how Tiger Woods inspired him to take up the sport. Atwal has a PGA Tour title; Singh has four top-10 finishes on the tour. But what if Sharma won at Augusta this week?

 

 

"If I play my best, I will surely be in contention," Sharma said. "It's just like any other golf tournament. You play four good rounds of golf and you end up winning. Obviously, the pressure is a lot more and it's a very high stage, but personally, I don't feel any burden.

 

 

Shubhankar Sharma Masters

 

 

"Every sport needs a hero, and we have a few heroes back home. But a major winner, [that] has a different sound to it."

 

“It’s every professional golfer’s dream to get to the Masters,” the 21-year-old told Reuters from Georgia. “To be playing among the best players in the world, it’s a great feeling.”

 

India is a massive potential market for golf but the sport, like so many others in the country, is overshadowed by the overwhelming popularity of cricket.

 

 

Sharma hopes he can help raise the profile of golf back home and recalls how watching Woods tear apart the opposition when he was younger convinced him to start playing professionally.

 

“Tiger has been a very big inspiration especially to all the kids my age who grew up watching him,” Sharma said. “It’s the first time I’m playing in the same field as him so I’m really excited about it.

 

 

“I hope kids and parents back home watch the Masters. If players in India get more exposure through the media, it’ll help kids get into golf and look at golf as a career. That is what’s missing.”

 

 

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