Diksha & Shubhankar in contrasting form



Diksha Dagar and Shubhankar Sharma achieved the pinnacles of their careers at the British Opens, with remarkable performances in the men’s and women’s events, respectively

Back in July, Diksha Dagar and Shubhankar Sharma produced career-best performances in The Open championship.

Diksha  finished a creditable 21st in the Women’s Open while Shubhankar caught the attention of golf fans worldwide by finishing 8th at The Open in extremely tough weather conditions. 

After that record Open performance, Diksha  finished 6th and 7th in the next two events in Ireland , both events with strong fields.  In fact, she led the Irish Open after the first and second rounds but despite shooting three under over the weekend, she was beaten by a winner who shot a final round 10-under 62. There’s no shame in that. According to a 2019 tweet by Justin Ray, PGA Tour players with an outright lead after 36 holes had won only 33.9% of the time during the previous 20 years.

Sharma, on the other hand, is in the middle of another up-and-down season. To be brutally honest, it has been a mostly down season with a few highs. One of those highs was at The Open only the third time an Indian pro has finished inside the top-10 in a major. 

As IGW wrote a few weeks ago, it was important for both these young pros to follow up those top class  performances with better results. While progression in professional sports is rarely linear, repetitions matter. The more times you put yourself in contention, the better prepared you become to handle the emotions that come with it. The more times you play well, the more relaxed you become about playing well and the less you worry when you play poorly. Likewise, the opposite tends to be true. If you are inconsistent, it becomes easy for doubt to creep.

Had Dagar won in Ireland, she would have taken over the top spot in the Race to Costa Del Sol but she still jumped ahead of Aditi Ashok into third place, while Ashok dropped to fourth since she is playing largely on the US LPGA Tour.

Last week Sharma’s  return after The Open  saw him shoot 6-over par for two rounds in Switzerland to miss the cut by nine shots. That’s been typical of a season where he has missed the cut in 10 of his 18 events.

To be sure, the rest of the year could go differently but  the trajectories of Dagar and Sharma currently appear to be headed in opposite directions. Dagar is demonstrating staying power and the ability to play well for weeks at a time. Sharma frustratingly continues to offer only fleeting glimpses of his immense potential.


Photo – LET Flickr/DPWT

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