Liverpool, England, 23-07-2023
Shubhankar Sharma records best Indian finish at The Open after claiming tied eighth place with bogey-free final round of 70
Shubhankar climbs to 165 in the world ranking, making a gain of 111 spots
Shubhankar Sharma recorded the best Indian finish at The Open after he claimed tied eighth place at the 151st edition of golf's oldest Major at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in England on Sunday.
Shubhankar, who turned 27 earlier in the week, posted scores of 68, 71, 70 and 70 to total five-under 279 for the tournament in his third appearance at The Open.
American Brian Harman won the year's final Major with a score of 13-under 271. It was his first Major triumph. Harman finished six strokes ahead of four players bunched in tied second place which included South Korea's Tom Kim, Austria's Sepp Straka, Jason Day of Australia and Spaniard Jon Rahm.
Jyoti Randhawa held the previous record for the best finish by an Indian golfer at The Open courtesy his tied 27th at Royal Troon in Scotland in 2004.
Sharma held his own in windy and wet conditions on the last day as his one-under 70 was the only bogey-free card of the final round. It pushed him up one spot from his overnight tied ninth.
The Indian star's only birdie came on the 14th where he made a 15-feet conversion. He made pars on all the other 17 holes. He has now gained 111 spots in the world ranking by climbing from 276 to 165.
The Chandigarh-based professional enjoyed a consistent run through the week as he maintained himself in the top-10 from round one till round four despite the extremely tough playing conditions.
Sharma had previously finished tied 51st in both his appearances at The Open in 2018 and 2019.
The best finish by an Indian at a men’s Major belongs to Anirban Lahiri. He finished tied fifth at the PGA Championship in Wisconsin, USA in 2015.
Shubhankar Sharma’s tied eighth result at the 151st Open was only the third time an Indian finished in the top-10 in a golf Major. Apart from Anirban Lahiri’s tied fifth in 2015, Jeev Milkha Singh had finished tied ninth at the 2008 PGA Championship in Michigan, USA.
In other words, Shubhankar's result at the 2023 Open Championship is now also the second-best finish by an Indian at a Major.
Shubhankar Sharma said, “I don’t like to talk much about my own game, but I am very proud of what I managed to accomplish today. This was probably the best round of golf that I have ever played in my life.”
The two-time DP World Tour winner added, “It's amazing. Yeah, just played out of my skin. I grinded from the first hole. I don't remember the last time I've hit so many long irons into par-4s, 2-irons, 4-irons, 5-irons all day, and I struck them brilliantly, so really proud of myself the way I handled myself on the course.
“I did well to make up-and-down and make pars, but back nine was just incredible ball-striking. Everything was close. Everything in those conditions with 4-irons, 5-irons in, everything was 15 to 20 feet; some were like four, five feet. I missed a four-footer, five-footer, six footer on the par-3s. Really happy. Very pleased with the way I played, and yeah, gives me a lot of confidence.”
Shubhankar Sharma's top-10 finish at the 2023 edition of The Open has earned him an invitation to play at The Open next year at Troon.
Picture Courtesy: Getty Images
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