Quotes: Atwal, Jeev, Lahiri on Shubhankar Sharma

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Shubhankar Sharma finished T-9 in his debut World Golf Championships debut in Mexico. Fellow Indian pros were not short on praise for the 21-year-old.

Arjun Atwal, the first Indian winner on PGA Tour

To me, he has a very calm attitude. I like that about him. He doesn’t get flustered, he takes everything in his stride and that’s what I’ve always noticed about him. He’s been very level headed since I’ve known him. I can’t see him being upset or cussing.

Shubhankar has got the type of game that you can’t pinpoint what he needs to improve or get better. There’s nothing that he’s very exceptional at but the thing is that every part of his game he’s very good at doing. He’s like a Steve Stricker or Jim Furyk.

Shubhankar always knows where he’s going and what he’s doing. He’s figured his game plan out. He’s going do some amazing things in his career, he’s going to surprise a lot of people. I won’t say what they will do but you’ll see.

Jeev Milkha Singh, 2-time Asian Tour No. 1, 4-time European Tour winner

I’ve known Shubhankar for years, seen him grow and mature as a golfer and person. He’s got the full package. His strength is that he is mentally strong, and being a pro for the last five years, he’s gained the experience. He’s trained himself mentally. The family believes a lot in yoga and meditation, which was introduced by his mother. The way I see it, he’s like the silent assassin. Even if he plays good or bad, he controls it very well and doesn’t show any emotion.

He just does his own thing, he keeps to his routine and he doesn’t bother about what’s happening around win. He won twice on the PGTI Indian Tour and two on the European Tour over the past few months. He believes he can win anywhere in the world. He’s in the frame of mind that he feels anything is possible. That’s the attitude that an athlete needs to have when he competes against the best in the world.

I rate his game at 70% mental and 30 % on technique. He can take on the world. The kid has got it. He’s focused and he knows what he wants which is important.

Anirban Lahiri, PGA TOUR member, 2-time Presidents Cup International team member

[Shubhankar] is a very tenacious and feisty competitor. He approaches his golf aggressively and he’s a confident guy. That’s the confidence he has. He has all those qualities. The differentiating factor between him and other 21 year olds is how he approaches tournaments and his mental ability to focus and to separate himself from the noise, especially during big events and even on the world stage. Amazingly it’s his first World Golf Championships and it’s been good to see that he’s not been overwhelmed and he’s not been overawed.

He doesn’t care the consequences or magnitude of a win. He’s just playing golf, and he knows what he’s doing. It’s a treat for me and every golf fan, not just in India but everywhere. That’s the beauty of it, he is just playing golf. When you’re young, you just want to play. That’s the beauty of youth. He’s an advertisement of a kid who just loves playing golf.

There’s no doubt that he will be playing on the PGA TOUR… We’ll have more  Indians too playing at the highest stage very soon.

Excerpts from Shubhankar Sharma’s interview following his T-9 finish at Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico, here.

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