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Confident Sharma ready for home test at 'fifth Major' for Indian players

Confident Sharma ready for home test at 'fifth Major' for Indian players

Shubhankar Sharma says his confidence is high as he prepares for the Hero Indian Open on home soil, which he declares the 'fifth' Major for Indian players.


Sharma, who lived in the Delhi area for a number of years, makes his way to DLF Golf & Country Club following his tied seventh finish at last week's Porsche Singapore Classic.

His first top ten since the Horizon Irish Open last September, Sharma credited last week's return to form on a three-week break he used to spend time at home with his coach and trainer.

Now, the two-time DP World Tour winner says his confidence is high as he prepares to play in front of home fans and a course he thinks of as home at the Hero Indian Open.

"It’s going to be an amazing week," says Sharma.

"I’m really happy to be back to the beautiful DLF Golf & Country Club. This is home for me. I don’t live here any more but I spent about four years here at the start of my career and I was sponsored by (DLF) before. So it’s amazing to be back on home soil and I can see all my friends I grew up playing with. This is the fifth major, it’s going to be a great week.

"Confidence is really high and I’m happy about that. I spent three weeks at home. I spent a lot of time with my coach and my trainer. I have a great team around me, which I’m really grateful for and my physio on Tour, Ian. It’s been great and it all showed last week, I played quite consistent and was really happy. It’s great to be in good form for my fifth major and I’m looking forward to it."

A strong record in this event has no doubt contributed to Sharma's position as one of the favourites for this week, having finished seventh here in 2018, 27th in 2019, and tied 13th here on the Tour's return in 2023.

At 188th, he is currently the highest-ranked Indian player on the Official World Golf Ranking, and will be looking to add his name to an illustrious list of home-grown champions that have previously triumphed in this event.

He'll have to successfully navigate four days of competition over the Gary Player designed course to that though, on a layout that is well revered as one of the toughest tests on Tour.

Speaking about DLF G&CC, Sharma admitted that it's a difficult challenge but one he relishes, and was quick to compliment the condition of the course ahead of this week's event.

"The course is playing amazing," he continued.

"It’s slightly different to what the members play every day. The rough is slightly up, the greens are slightly faster but it’s in amazing condition. I can’t see any patch on the course which is bad, it’s absolutely fantastic and I think all the players this week feel the same way. I think it’s fair, there are so many holes that look tough but there’s a way to score there; but you have to hit some good shots. It’s an exciting week. It’s one of the tougher courses that we play all year, but it’s a challenge which we all cherish.

"The finish here is one of the toughest we have on Tour. Le Golf National is another course which comes to mind. DLF is right up there. 16, the par three is so long, 17, if you lay up short of the creek the second shot is about 160 yards to the middle. You just see the pin and you just see stones. It’s all about commitment and trusting your yardages. 18 is a fair hole, you hit a good drive and you always have a chance to go to the green in two, or you lay up and wedge it close.

"But all of these holes you can’t just stand and bang the ball. You have to really concentrate on your ball flight, see where the wind is from and make some good swings coming in, especially for a guy on the cut line, or even if you’re leading the tournament it’s a tough finish."