Kouklia (Cyprus), October 28
India’s Shubhankar Sharma will be back in action for the inaugural Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open, starting here on Thursday, and he will have for company SSP Chawrasia.
Chawrasia returned to competition at the Scottish Open and then missed the cut last week at the Italian Open.
Sharma has been a busy man since the European Tour restarted. Beginning from the second event on the UK Swing in the Hero Open, Sharma has played seven weeks in a row before taking a week off and then played four more before resting last week.
“I am not feeling tired. I am happy playing as much as I can. That’s what I wanted to do when we were in a lockdown. Having said that I am not getting the results,” said Sharma.
His best in 11 starts has been tied 26th at the Scottish Open and he was tied 37th at the Scottish Championship.
Sharma has played well in patches, but is yet to find his rhythm. He is hoping Cyprus will be the place as he tees off in the One million Euro event.
Chawrasia, who has won each of his four European Tour titles at home in India, was planning to return to action for the UK Swing, before being struck down by COVID.
He recovered from the illness and then attended to his mother, who was not well. He finally returned to action at the Scottish Championship, where he had a great start for first two days but was unable to carry the momentum into the weekend.
“This is one of the most beautiful golf courses I have seen. It is hilly and will require a lot of accuracy and the greens are pure,” said Chawrasia.
Meanwhile, Laurie Canter, who recorded his second runner-up finish and third top five since the restart, wishes to go one better than the second place last week at the Italian Open, where he finished one shot behind champion Ross McGowan.
He is now ready to throw himself into this week’s inaugural Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open. During the lockdown, Canter stayed fresh by taking on the likes of Richard Bland, James Morrison, Justin Harding and Jordan Smith at The Wisley Golf Club and that helped him when competition resumed in July.
On Cyprus, which is hosting European Tour golf for the first time, an impressed Canter said, “The facility looks unbelievable from what I’ve seen so far. I’m really excited to see the golf course. It looks like we’re going to have some undulation. A few up and down tee shots.”
Canter’s fellow Englishman Andy Sullivan has also been in fine form since the restart, claiming a sensational seven shot victory at the English Championship and recording three other top ten finishes – including joint third at the BMW PGA Championship earlier in October.
The field also has the Hero Open winner Sam Horsfield. PTI