Feature

From Jeev Milkha Singh to Shubhankar Sharma: Indian golfers at the Masters

Four Indian golfers have played at the Masters, one of the majors and most prestigious events in the world, over the years.

By Rahul Venkat ·

The most prestigious golf event in the world, The Masters tees off on Thursday at the famous Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

It is the second major of the 2020-21 season after the US Open in September, where Bryson DeChambeau captured his first major. The American enters as one of the favourites for the title.

Reigning champion Tiger Woods, who won an emotional fifth Masters title last year, his first in 14 years, will also be part of the field at Augusta National, where he set the record of 270 in 1997, a tally matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.

While there will be no Indian golfers in contention for the green jacket (awarded to the Masters champion) this time around, here’s a look at the four who have played at Augusta National over the years:

Jeev Milkha Singh

The first Indian golfer to play at the Masters, veteran Jeev Milkha Singh also has the most appearances of any Indian at the golf major with three.

Jeev Milkha Singh first qualified for the Masters in 2007 where he made the weekend cut and finished a creditable tied-37th when Zach Johnson won his first major.

The Indian golfer then got an invite for 2008, where he recorded his best finish at the Masters, ending tied-25th.

Jeev Milkha Singh played at the Masters for a third consecutive year in 2009, qualifying for the major as one of the top-50 players in the world.

However, he was unable to make the cut in what turned out to be his final appearance at the Masters to date.

Jeev Milkha Singh played the 2009 Masters with five-time champion Tiger Woods.

Anirban Lahiri

Rio 2016 Olympian Anirban Lahiri is only the second Indian golfer to have multiple Masters appearances with two.

Lahiri played his first Masters campaign in 2015, where he made the cut, making him only the second Indian golfer to do so after Jeev Milkha Singh.

The then 27-year-old Lahiri recorded an all-par final round to end with four-over 292, which placed him tied-49th, ensuring a top-50 finish in his first Masters. Jordan Spieth matched the record to win his first major with a wire-to-wire victory at just 21 years old.

The Indian golfer played his second-consecutive Masters in 2016, where he made the cut again. However, this time Anirban Lahiri finished with an 11-over aggregate, though he recorded his best finish at the Masters with tied-42nd.

Anirban Lahiri is only the second Indian golfer to make the cut at the Masters.

Arjun Atwal

Arjun Atwal became the second Indian golfer to play at the Masters in 2011, which incidentally remains his only appearance at the major to date.

However, it was not a memorable outing for Arjun Atwal, who carded just one birdie and an eagle to go with two bogeys and four double bogeys in the opening round to end with an eight-over 80.

Arjun Atwal could not salvage it in the second round and was unable to make the cut at the 2011 Masters, where Charl Schwartzel won his first major by two strokes.

Arjun Atwal is the second Indian golfer to play at the Masters.

Shubhankar Sharma

The youngest Indian golfer to play at the Masters, Shubhankar Sharma made his maiden and so far, only, appearance in 2018 at the age of 21.

Shubhankar Sharma enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018, winning the Johannesburg Open and Maybank Malaysian Championships on the European Tour to rise to top-70 in the world rankings.

The Indian golfer’s phenomenal season earned him a special invite from then Masters’ senior director Buzzy Johnson to play the prestigious major in 2018.

Shubhankar Sharma was eventually unable to make the cut at the 2018 Masters, where Patrick Reed took home his first major.