Shubhankar Sharma will be playing in the 2018 Masters after the tournament and Augusta National Golf Club announced March 6 it has extended a special invitation to the 21-year-old from India.
Sharma, now ranked 66th in the Official World Golf Ranking, was the 54-hole leader at the WGC-Mexico Championship before stumbling on the final day as Phil Mickelson won in Mexico City. That performance, combined with a pair of early European Tour wins in his first full season as a member, earned him a special invitation from the Masters outside its normal invitation criteria. With the Masters being a true invitational, the club can invite any player at their discretion to join the field.
“Golf is a global game, and throughout our history we have extended invitations to deserving international players not otherwise qualified,” said Augusta National and Masters Tournament chairman Fred Ridley in a release announcing the invitation. “As his results have proven, Shubhankar Sharma is a remarkable young player, and we look forward to welcoming him to Augusta National in April.”
Sharma will become the fourth Indian player to compete in the Masters, following Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri.
The 2018 Masters will be played April 5-8. There are two remaining ways to earn a Masters invitation through published channels, including winning a PGA Tour event before the tournament and landing in the Official World Golf Ranking top 50 published the week prior to the Masters.