Oct 23, 2018: India’s Shubhankar Sharma is determined to become the second Asian player to win the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions when the US$10 million event starts at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Thursday.
Sharma’s best finish at a WGC event was in Mexico early in the year where he led for two rounds before settling for an eventual tied-ninth place.
The Indian believes he is close to rediscovering the form that led him to two wins on the Asian Tour and is capable of following the footsteps of Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who lifted the coveted Old Tom Morris Cup in 2016.
“I’m playing this event for the first time and I’m really happy to be here. It’s obviously going to be a very exciting week as only the best players in the world will be here and I’m part of them. I’m really looking forward to competing this week. I’ve been lucky to be able to play in all the big tournaments this year so I would say I’m more comfortable playing against these guys than I was at the start of the year. I know I have the game to be among the best in the world. I had a few chances this year and I would like to draw on those experiences and play well. I had problems both in Mexico and Malaysia and they all came on the last day. I didn’t get off to the best of starts and then I got back into contention in the middle of the round and then dropped silly shots again in the end. I try to think back and see how I can avoid those mistakes especially when I’m in those positions again. I have a decent year so far and I just want to keep playing well and give my best shot”, said Shubhankar.
Compatriot Gaganjeet Bhullar, who has also enjoyed a standout season so far, is ready to stamp his mark at the Shanghai showpiece.
Bhullar is the only Indian to have won nine times on the Asian Tour and is feeling confident ahead of the exciting contest which will also feature five of the world’s top six golfers in the elite 78-man field.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat will have another opportunity to create an impression on the world stage, having enjoyed two top-five finishes in his previous two WGC events in Mexico and the United States this year.
Ranked 41st in the world, Kiradech is the first Thai to earn a PGA TOUR card and is hopeful of playing to his true potential when the year’s final WGC event gets underway.