Austin (Texas), March 20: Indias Shubhankar Sharma will enter the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play cauldron after being drawn into a mouth-watering opening match against reigning Masters Tournament champion Sergio Garcia on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old rising star will also face American Xander Schauffele, the 2017 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, and South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli in Group 7 of the preliminary stage at Austin Country Club, according to an Asian Tour release.
“I think it’s a great group. I’ve played with Xander before and I know Dylan well, it’ll be a great group with Sergio there as well. I’ll have to play my best and make as many birdies as possible,” said Shubhankar, who was tied ninth at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship after leading on day two and three earlier this month, .
While the Indian prospect will be making his debut at the WGC-Dell Technology Match Play which is exclusive to the leading 64 players in the world, he will be able to lean on some match play experience following his triumph at the All Indian Amateur in 2013.
“I love match play. The last time I played (that format) was 2013 when I played my last event as an amateur, and I ended winning the event. So I absolutely love match play as it’s a lot of fun and you go for a few shots which you don’t normally do in stroke play events.
“You just have to be as aggressive as possible which is the best part about match play,” said Sharma, who won two Asian Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa and Malaysia recently.
In-form Thai golfer Kiradech Aphibarnrat was in upbeat mood after being drawn into Group 3 alongside World No. 3 Jon Rahm of Spain and American duo Chez Reavie and Keegan Bradley.
The winners of each group will proceed into the knock-out phase to be played over the weekend.