Shubhankar Sharma is determined to become the second Asian player to win the WGC-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 really looking forward to competing this week,” Sharma said.
“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.”
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.
RIGHT: Sharma believes he has the ability to mix it with the best players in the world. PHOTO: Stanley Chou/Getty Images. Top: Supplied/Asian Tour.
“This is my fourth appearance and third time playing on this golf course. It’s a great feeling and I’ve great memories,” Bhullar said.
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, Aphibarnrat 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.
“I just want to play my own game this week,” Aphibarnrat said.
“I have my coach with me this week and hopefully I can bring out my ‘A’ game.
“I want to finish inside the top-30 in the world ranking at the end of the year and I don’t see why I cannot do it.”