Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma was all praise for his playing partner Brooks Koepka, saying the World No 1 has an uncluttered mind and remains an inspiration for golfers like him.
“It just inspires guys like us to play and get there as well,” said Sharma, who shot a bogey-free one-under 70 to be Tied-20th after the opening round of the Open here.
It was Sharma’s first under-par round at the Open. Last year at Carnoustie, Sharma played two rounds at even-par 71 and ended T-51st. Koepka, on the other hand, shot three-under 68 to be Tied-third.
“He (Koepka) just played solid. The best thing about him is that he isn’t very cluttered in the mind. He’s very calm on the course. He has good decision making and you can see that he’s the world No. 1. He gets on the ball and gets on very quickly. I think that’s the best part,” Sharma said.
Sharma was only 16 and playing in his first professional event when he was paired with Koepka in the final round of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge in 2013. Asked about the time they last played together, Sharma smiled and said, “We spoke about it. It was a long time ago. It was fun.
“I think a lot has happened in his life since then. I don’t think he remembers that good. He remembers coming to India. I asked him if he remembered playing over there. It was a lot of fun. He remembered making a video with him a tuk-tuk and other things.”
Sharma still remembers clearly about his time with Koepka six years ago.”Obviously, his physical appearance has changed since then. He wasn’t as muscular as he is right now. He was very thin and he had long hair at that time, I remember that.
I just was coming out of the gates. I had just joined the profession. It was fun playing with him then.”Obviously so much has changed since then. He’s done so well. And you can see why he’s the world No. 1.”