Carnoustie, Scotland, 19 Jul 2018

Shubhankar Sharma hangs in there with an opening round 73 at The Open, Anirban Lahiri off to slow start with a 76

Young Indian talent Shubhankar Sharma got off to a battling start, signing for an opening two-over-par 73 in his debut appearance at The 147th Open at Carnoustie on Thursday.

Sharma, who turns 22 on Saturday, carded one birdie against three bogeys to trail leader Kevin Kisner of the United States by seven shots in tied-72nd position at the year’s third Major championship.

“I am very happy with my opening round, considering that I was three-over after 13 holes and last few holes are supposed to be tough but I finished one-under there. I was hitting the ball really well. I had a few birdie opportunities as well but didn’t manage to convert.

“I hit it good off the tee. I didn’t miss too many fairways which was nice. My putting wasn’t great. I could have made more. Playing in a Major, you just got to take every chance presented to you out there,” said Sharma, who leads the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings.

The young Indian has enjoyed a spectacular year so far, claiming his second Asian Tour title at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia in February, just two months after his breakthrough in South Africa.

Sharma also enjoyed a top-10 finish in his World Golf Championships debut in Mexico in March. That finish earned him an invitation to The Masters where he made his Major debut.

He would add another feather to his cap by earning his second Major appearance at the US Open after coming through the Qualifier.

“I think I just have to stay aggressive tomorrow. I made only one birdie today. I have to make more tomorrow. It has been really a dream debut for me at The Open.

“I had a great grouping and Tiger (Woods) was playing behind me. I think I have never seen so many people on the first tee before. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people at one hole at one time so it was really a great experience,” Sharma added.

Anirban Lahiri, the other Indian in the field, signed for a disappointing 76 but remained upbeat of his comeback chances on Friday.

“I didn’t get off a good start. It was only two or three holes in that I started to tidy things up a bit. I missed a lot of shots right. I am disappointed to go birdie-free today. I definitely left a lot of shots out there. I couldn’t take advantage of the par-fives as well.

“Obviously five-over-par is not the best start but I still feel like I can make a bunch of birdies tomorrow. A lot of work to do but I will need to do what I need to do for tomorrow,” said Lahiri, the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.
Source: Asian Tour

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