August 07, 2018: The exuberance that accompanies Indian golf these days is a pleasant note of joy and expectation. Fans are being treated to a steady stream of good results, week after week. The anticipation that builds up each Sunday is testament to the consistency with which Indian golfers are reaching out towards success.
As Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma tee off on Thursday, they will carry soaring Indian hopes in the 100thPGA Championship. The two men will be in the field for a second major running, after making the field in the 147thOpen Championship at Carnoustie.
The centennial edition of the PGA Championship will also mark a grand occasion for Indian golf.
Anirban Lahiri will surpass Jeev Milkha Singh as the Indian golfer with the most major appearances. The 31-year-old is set to play his 15thmajor this week at Bellerive.
Shubhankar Sharma, who became the eighth Indian with a major appearance by playing the Masters this year, will emulate the feat of his seniors, Lahiri and Singh as the only Indian men to have played all four majors in one season. He will also become the youngest Indian male to achieve this feat.
Jeev Milkha Singh accomplished the feat in 2007, while Anirban played all four majors in 2015 and 2016.
Shubhankar and Anirban will also take the number of major appearances by Indian golfers to 50, when they play this week at the Bellerive Country Club.
Here is a quick snap shot of Indian appearances at majors –
Anirban Lahiri – 15 (including the 2018 PGA Championship)
Jeev Milkha Singh – 14
Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal and Shiv Kapur – 5
Shubhankar Sharma – 4 (including the 2018 PGA Championship)
Gaurav Ghei, Gaganjeet Bhullar – 1
Ghei was the first Indian to make a major appearance, when he broke through in 1997. We had to wait for three years before the next appearance, when Randhawa made his Open debut.
We have been enjoying uninterrupted major entries each year, since Jeev made his debut at the 2002 US Open.