Shubhankar Sharma will hit his first competitive tee shot not at a conventional golf course, the Gullane Golf Club, where he plays the Scottish Open from Thursday, but at the iconic Edinburgh Castle, where he features for the first time in the Hero Challenge, that precedes the main event.
Sharma, 21, plays alongside the legendary Ryder Cup star, Ian Poulter besides Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Olympic bronze medallist Matt Kuchar, American Charley Hoffman and local man Richie Ramsay.
“It is my first time at the Hero Challenge and it should be fun. Seeing the Edinburgh Castle was on my list, but hitting a tee shot there is something else. It should be fun,” said Sharma, as he prepared for the main event.
Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said: “The overwhelming success of this unique concept of golf in our debut season and last year has encouraged us to bring the 2018 edition of the Hero Challenge to the European Tour once again. I am glad to see the Hero Challenge playing a role in attracting a large number of new fans to golf and I am sure this will go a long way in further popularising the game among young fans.”
Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “Edinburgh Castle is arguably Scotland’s most recognisable landmark, and we are thrilled to bring the Hero Challenge to such an iconic location. Since we launched the Hero Challenge at the British Masters in 2016.”
Sharma talking about his experience of being here for the links events at Scottish Open and then The Open next week, said, “I am feeling good. Last week, at the Irish Open, was my first taste of links courses. This is the second week of links courses for me and I am very excited. I have seen this tournament on TV so many times, including the win of Jeev sir…I am really happy to be a part of it finally.
“It’s (the Scottish Open) a great preparation for the Open Championship. That is the reason why so many players from the PGA Tour come and play these two weeks in Ireland and Scotland. Even though the set-up of the golf course is not as tough as the Open, but it just prepares you for links golf, for the hard fairways, the pot bunkers and the mounds. This really is a great way to get ready for the Open Championship at Carnoustie.”
About the Author
V Krishnaswamy is India's most widely travelled journalist. He has covered more than 20 Majors, Presidents Cup, EurAsia Cup and more than 120 international golf tournaments around the world. He has also covered seven Olympic Games, 8 Asian Games and 6 Commonwealth Games besides numerous World Championships in various sports.