Monday, 30th October 2017

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Sharma, Lara discuss cricket on greens

Brian and I talked about lot of cricket, says Indian golfer Shubhankar

By Angshuman Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 23.01.20, 4:06 AM
  • Updated 23.01.20, 4:26 AM
  • 2 mins read
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When asked about Lara’s golfing skills, Shubhankar said: “Brian plays very well and has a single digit handicap. We got along pretty well and decided we would try and catch a round, whenever we could, in India or elsewhere. Brian is a real gentleman.” (Picture: Twitter/@BrianLara)

Shubhankar Sharma grew up watching Brian Lara play cricket and, on Wednesday, the Indian golfer had a surprise at the Pro-Am of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai.

The 23-year-old came to know that he has been paired with the legendary West Indian for the Pro-Am.

“It was a pleasant surprise. I sort of grew up watching Lara play and here you are walking with him on the greens,” Shubhankar told The Telegraph late on Wednesday.

“We discussed a lot of cricket. He was telling me about his playing days, what he thinks about the present Indian team and stuff like that. It was really fun out there. The weather also was great and the Emirates Golf Club has one of the best courses in the world. So it was a very enjoyable day,” he said.

When asked about Lara’s golfing skills, Shubhankar said: “Brian plays very well and has a single digit handicap. We got along pretty well and decided we would try and catch a round, whenever we could, in India or elsewhere. Brian is a real gentleman.”

Lara also had only good things to say about Shubhankar. “Had a great outing of golf with one of India’s best golfers @shubhankargolf,” he tweeted.

Shubhankar also informed that it was not the first time he was playing golf with a cricketer. “I have played with Murali Karthik.”

Shubhankar is in Dubai for his third straight start at the storied event. Last year he had finished tied-29th with all the four rounds below par.

Gaganjeet Bhullar is the other Indian in fray. He is also making his third start at the event. Bhullar had a good weekend last year with a pair of 69s and ended tied 38th.

Both Shubhankar and Bhullar felt scoring would be tough this time with the thicker-than-usual rough. Many of the other stars, too, hel a similar view.

Shubhankar said: “The premium will be hitting the ball straight and in the fairways. So, you won’t see many drivers – sure they will be there on some holes, but there will be more of 3-woods.”

Bhullar concurred, saying, “You miss the fairways and you could be headed home early. The greens are lot smaller and fairways narrow and the rough is up.”

Shubhankar plays with Ryan Fox and Steven Brown. Fox is one of the two players who had their birthdays on Wednesday — the other being Eddie Pepperell. Bhullar goes out with Sean Crocker and Jeff Winther in the afternoon.

Jeev Milkha Singh is the Indian with most appearances at the Dubai Desert Classic with 17 starts, of which he made the cut in nine. His best was tied sixth in 2001 and another good result was tied 10th in 2013. Almost all the players felt the rough would pose a problem.

With inputs from PTI