Shubhankar Sharma, Gaganjeet Bhullar seek golfing bromance on Paris Olympics debut -

Shubhankar Sharma, Gaganjeet Bhullar seek golfing bromance on Paris Olympics debut

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Top golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar from Chandigarh are supported by the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme

Gaganjeet Bhullar of India. Picture By Ian Walton/Asian Tour.

Khel Today Bureau 

New Delhi: Leading Indian golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar are set to make their Olympic debut in Paris 2024. Shubhankar and Gaganjeet are ranked 47 and 52, respectively, on the Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR) as of April 29 and are expected to be among the 60 professionals teeing off on August 1 at the Le Golf National.

Bolstered by support from Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports’ Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), the Chandigarh-based pros are confident of holding their rankings high enough to make the grade. Shubhankar was recently upgraded to the TOPS Core group from the Development group while Gaganjeet was inducted directly to the Core group.

Shubhankar Sharma of India. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

“TOPS is great initiative by government and supports deserving sportspersons who represent the nation at the highest level. Few will know that golf is different in many aspects especially as far as expenses are concerned. it. So, any support by the government is always welcome,” Shubhankar Sharma told SAI Media. “I will draw on my experience to meet the expectations of the nation in Olympics. Needless to say, I will put my best foot forward.”

The financial assistance extended to Shubhankar under TOPS will cover the cost of competing in nine DP World Tour events apart from two Major championships – the United States Open and British Open – besides coach fee, engaging physiotherapist and dietician services, airfare, board and lodging and out-of-pocket allowance.

Talking about his preparation, Shubhankar said he has been following a well-planned schedule for the Olympics. “I am happy with myself and where I stand today. It’s work in the right direction. More than the challenges now, it’s just about getting that week right. I am very positive,” he said.

Shubhankar has immense respect for Gaganjeet Bhullar, his senior on the professional circuit. “Gagan is a proven champion and I look up to him with a lot of regard and respect. He has a wonderful mind-set about winning. I am sure we both should be able to spur each other to bring glory to the nation in Paris,” Shubhankar said.

Gaganjeet, a 11-time Asian Tour champion and 2006 Asian Games silver medal winner, said he is hungry to do well in Paris.  “It is a proud moment for me to be included in TOPS. Though I have been supported by sponsors in the last few years, there are many elements which are left. I would like to strengthen my team with a psychologist, caddie and fitness coach,” Gaganjeet told SAI Media.

“Shubhankar is much younger than I am but I have played a few rounds with him in tournaments. Both of us are excited as this is our first Olympics. Golf is such a sport that anything can happen, a few good rounds, a few good shots can definitely go a long way in deciding the result,” Gaganjeet Bhullar said. 

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