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Written by: Khushi Gupta
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is one of the most famous golf championships in the whole world that the golf watchers wait impatiently to witness and each time never fails to celebrate its winners. Hosted in the very first month of 2022, this Championship was held at Yas Island. The tournament was first held in 2006 and has ever since been continuously held at the emblematic Abu Dhabi Golf Club. It has built itself as a prominent tournament now played every year and watched all over the world.
Shubhankar Sharma is the only Indian golfer participating in this event, played with utmost grace and zest, and carded scores of 70, 71, 67, and 71 to finish tied second. With the whole country’s belief and his own confidence, he lead his day at the course as if it was inevitable that he would hold one of the top-most positions. Shubhankar Sharma ended up in a tie for the 5th position in the 3rd round but with the very start of the last round, he picked up from right where he started and reached slowly and steadily to the top of the leader board list.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
“It’s one of the best golf courses in the world. Kyle Phillips is personally one of my favorite course architects. It has everything; you get the variety: the long par-4s, short par-4s, long par-3s, short par-3s,” said Miguel Viador, who has been the tour’s tournament director since 2006. He continued, “It’s going to be asking everything out of the players in terms of using every club in the bag. They’re going to need to think a lot about how to play each shot, especially in the afternoon wind. With the firmness and everything, it’s going to be a nice but real challenge. A tough test of golf - that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Undeterred by the competitors and the competition, Shubhankar Sharma calmly made his confident shots. A birdie on the 2nd hole got him rolling up towards the second position in the leaderboard. It was not long before he played the fifth hole that Shubhankar Sharma finally managed to reach the second position with three others. “It was very important and it just gives me a lot of confidence going forward into the season,” Shubhankar said. “Some of the top players in the world were here this week, and gives me a lot confidence that I can finish high up on the leaderboard and compete with them. There's so much to look forward to now.”
In the middle of the tournament, with things going smoothly and the results being predictable, Cabrera Bello from Rafa and his ravishing play got him going straight up to the first position while Shubhankar was tossed to a tie at the third position. But having managed to keep up with his birdies and his good gameplay, Shubhankar Sharma manage to, by the end of the day, grab hold of the second position making his country proud and emerging as a victor and as an inspiration for the rest of the golf players. He hit swift birdies on holes 2, 5, 10, and 18. With a total of 279, just one below the top-most winner, Shubhankar Sharma snatched away all the watchers’ attention and a thumbs up from all those there. He was in the end ties for the second place with Cabrera Bello from Rafa who hit birdies on holes 3, 7,9,14, and 18.
Owing to his tremendous gameplay, Thomas Pieters rightfully occupied the first place in the tournament, playing memorable birdies on the second hole. “I used to watch as a kid and think it's impossible for me. But then when Nico [Coelsarts] came on the scene and started winning, it's stuff like that that inspires kids. Hopefully, I can do that back home… I feel like I've turned the corner and playing really good golf. I'm really in control of my ball flight. It's nice to feel like that and making putts as well. My putting has improved massively and I felt like that's the thing that really kept me going on the weekend,” says Pieters.
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