Playing alongside world number one Brooks Koepka of the United States and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion showed he could match up to anyone on his day with his steady performance at Royal Portrush.
“It was a good day today. One-under is always a good start and I couldn’t have asked for more. The major takeaway from today was I managed to stay bogey-free as I made a few crucial par putts coming in especially the ones from 14 to 16,” said Sharma.
The Indian marked his card with 12 straight pars starting from the first hole before he finally sank a 30-feet putt for his first and only birdie of the day at the par-three 13.
He would go on to make pars on his last five holes before signing for a 70.
“It was not easy out there and I’m pleased with myself. In the beginning I was struggling with the lines and didn’t hole too many putts. But I found my rhythm on the back-nine and managed to play some steady golf from there,” said Sharma.
Sharma also had the opportunity to reminisce with Koepka about their time in India when they both played together during the final round of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge on the European Challenge Tour in 2013.
“It was really fun playing with Brooks. We spoke about his time in India and his rides in the tuk tuk. He was not so muscular back then and a lot has changed for us in our careers since then,” said Sharma.