India’s Shubhankar Sharma secures Masters invitation

India's Shubhankar Sharma has won twice this season. Picture: Eduardo Verdugo/AP
India's Shubhankar Sharma has won twice this season. Picture: Eduardo Verdugo/AP
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Shubhankar Sharma, the 21-year-old Indian golfer who is leading this season’s Race to Dubai after recording two wins on the European Tour, is to make his major debut in the Masters early next month.

He has accepted an invitation extended to him by Augusta National Golf Club, the event’s organisers, to become just the fourth Indian player to compete in the season’s opening major following appearances by Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri.

“Golf is a global game, and throughout our history we have extended invitations to deserving international players not otherwise qualified,” said Fred Ridley, the new chairman of Augusta National Golf Club. “As his results have proven, Shubhankar Sharma is a remarkable young player, and we look forward to welcoming him to Augusta National in April.”

Sharma failed to win a European Tour card in last November’s Qualifying School before winning the Joburg Open in December then backing that up with an even more impressive victory in the Maybank Championship in Malaysia last month.

Last week, he made the golfing world sit up and take notice of his talent when topping the leaderboard heading into the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship before finishing ninth behind Phil Mickelson.

“I am deepy honoured to be found worthy of invitation by the Masters Committee,” wrote Sharma on Twitter. “It’s a dream come true.”

As things stand, Sandy Lyle is set to be the sole Scot in the field in what will be the 30th anniversary of him becoming the first British player to claim a Green Jacket.