Definitely belong to this stage, says Shubhankar Sharma
Two-over in final round gives Shubhankar Sharma four-over finish at the Open Championship.Updated: Jul 22, 2018 23:51 IST
Hindustan Times, Carnoustie (Scotland)
What started off as an extremely promising round for Shubhankar Sharma, finally turned out to be yet another learning experience in his young career. On the final day of the Open Championship in Carnoustie, the 22-year-old was on a tear, getting to two-under par after five holes and playing good golf in tough conditions. The wind had switched direction completely and was decidedly stronger than the first three days.
After birdies on the third and fifth holes, Sharma was approached by a rules official from the R&A and warned for slow play on the seventh hole. He then did not have a very good par-3 eighth hole, where he took slightly more time than usual because of three bad shots and was seen in a long conversation with the official.
That ruffled him slightly and holes nine and 10th, where he missed birdie chances from 12 and eight feet, completely took away the momentum from his game. He did hang on bravely with a miraculous save on the par-4 17th, and later had a 10-footer for birdie on the 18th with two good shots, but missed that as well. He ended the round two-over with a total of four-over 288.
To Sharma’s credit, he refused to blame anything on the incident. When asked about it, he said: “Nothing really. It was just a small thing. We were playing a bit slow, so we just tried to catch up. It’s all part of the game,” he said.
“It was a tough finish for me, but I think I played well today. I started off really well. I was hitting it good, but kind of lost my concentration in the middle when I made those bogeys. But I am happy with the way I played. I had a birdie putt on the last, and I kept trying till the very end.
“I had this problem missing putts to the left yesterday, and we were trying to figure things out. I putted really well through the first eight holes, and then on ninth and 10th, the same thing kicked in and I just pulled both those putts. They were pretty easy, to be honest, and important for the round,” said Sharma who clearly has taken a lot of confidence from this performance.
“I definitely think that I belong to this stage. I haven’t played too much links golf before this, and this is only my third time, and it’s definitely very different compared to what we play normally, especially back home in Asia,” he said.
“So, it’s been a lot of learning. I feel like I’ve just grown as a player this week, and I can’t wait to get back here next time and just draw on the experiences that I got this week.
“I really enjoyed myself. The only time I felt a bit of pressure was on the second day when I was outside the cutline and I really wanted to play the weekend. It was my birthday yesterday and I didn’t want to be sad on my birthday.”
Sharma takes a week off and will play the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational after that followed by the PGA Championship, the final major championship of the season.
First Published: Jul 22, 2018 23:09 IST