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Carnoustie, Scotland, 20 Jul 2018

Shubhankar Sharma makes first Major cut in his Open debut, youngest Indian to do so on eve of his 22nd birthday; Anirban Lahiri misses cut

India’s rising star Shubhankar Sharma successfully made the halfway cut in his maiden appearance at The Open in Carnoustie on Friday, on the eve of his 22nd birthday.

It was the first time that Sharma made it through to the weekend rounds in a Major championship, having missed the mark earlier at The Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June. He thus became the youngest Indian to make the cut at a Major.
 
It is also only the second time that an Indian has made the cut in his debut appearance at The Open. The feat was achieved previously by Anirban Lahiri in 2012.
 
Sharma battled through tough conditions in the morning to sign for a second round even-par-71, trailing leaders Kevin Kisner and Zach Johnson by eight shots in tied 52nd place with a two-over-144 total at the world’s oldest Major championship. The cut was declared at three-over-145.

“I am so excited right now. After that tee shot on the 18, I thought I just need to make par because a lot of players have yet to play. My first aim was to hit the fairway on the 18th and then hit the green to give myself birdie opportunity.

“I made a brilliant second shot to about five to six feet and made the birdie putt. I am really proud of myself, considering I was three-over after nine and made three birdies on the last six holes to get back to even-par,” said Sharma, a two-time European Tour winner and the current leader of the Asian Tour money list.

The young Indian had qualified for The Open after breaking through at the Joburg Open last December. He would go on to embark on a magical season in 2018, claiming several successful exploits on the international stage before adding another feather to his cap by making the cut in his Open debut this week.

“I wasn’t thinking much when I stood on the last putt. The greens became very bumpy. You just hope that the ball stays on the line. It was a nerving moment for me at the end but very happy to birdie the last and make it to the weekend rounds.

“This is my favourite Major championship. I imagined myself playing in The Open since I was a kid. I am happy to make the cut in my first attempt. This is also the first time I made the cut in a Major. It is definitely a big moment for me. I am also turning 22 tomorrow so it will be a great birthday present for me,” Sharma added.

Anirban Lahiri, the other Indian in the elite field this week, posted a 74 in round two to total eight-over-150. As a result he will miss out on the weekend action at the year’s third Major championship.

Source: Asian Tour


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