Cape Town - Shubhankar
Sharma is hopeful that going in under the radar can help him the lift the
trophy on home soil this week at the Indian Open.
"This was my home course for the longest time, and it feels great to be
back on familiar ground and I stay very close to the golf course, so all
my family is here to watch me," said Sharma.
months and the local hero was riding a wave as arguably the hottest name in
golf having claimed his first two European titles in quick succession and
finished in the top ten in his maiden World Golf Championships event in Mexico.
New Delhi, he flew back west for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and then
made his Major Championship debut at the Masters Tournament having been handed
a special invitation to tee it up at Augusta National.
With all that going on,
he could have been forgiven for being tired at DLF Golf and Country Club but he
equalled the course record in round two en route to a top ten finish.
"The course is playing much better than last year. Most of the players
I’ve spoken to have been happy with how the course is. I am obviously a
lot more mature this year and really enjoying my game. I just want to
get back into the groove again of playing at my best again," said
"It would mean the world to me, the Hero Indian Open is very special to
us Indians, especially to win on a course that has supported me in my
career. And to join the past Indian winners that I have idolised since I
was young has always been my goal. Hopefully everything goes well this
week and we’ll see what happens."
claimed his third European Tour title in dramatic fashion at the Maybank
Championship last week in Kuala Lumpur and the Australian has his sights set on
an improved performance in Delhi off the back of that victory.
The 45-year-old, who now sits inside the top ten of the 2019 Race to Dubai Rankings, has struggled with the Gary Player designed course in the
past, however has an impressive track record in Asia with all three European
Tour victories coming from this continent.
One man who has
tasted victory in this event is Anirban Lahiri, who won it in 2015 when it
joined the Race to Dubai, having been first staged in 1964.
won it in the next two seasons before Matt Wallace broke the home dominance
last term, but two time European Tour winner Lahiri is confident he can
challenge to bring the title home if he can stay relaxed over the weekend.