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Shubhankar Sharma targets Indian Open victory as he bids to end six-year win drought

Shubhankar Sharma is targeting victory in what he regards as golf's "fifth major" as he bids to end a six-year victory drought in the Indian Open.

The Players Championship at Sawgrass has often laid claim to joining the Masters, US PGA, US Open and Open Championship as golf's pre-eminent events, but Sharma is understandably a big supporter of his national open.

The former rookie of the year, who claimed the last of his two DP World Tour titles in 2018, said: "It's going to be an amazing week.

"I'm really happy to be back to the beautiful DLF Golf & Country Club. This is home for me. I don't live here any more but I spent about four years here at the start of my career and I was sponsored by DLF before.

"So it's amazing to be back on home soil and I can see all my friends I grew up playing with. This is the fifth major, it's going to be a great week.

"The course is playing amazing. It's slightly different to what the members play every day. The rough is slightly up, the greens are slightly faster but it's in amazing condition."

The Gary Player-designed course measures more than 7,400 yards and prevents a daunting challenge for the players, with Denmark's Jeff Winther feeling "it's on steroids".

"I think it's fair," Sharma insisted. "There are so many holes that look tough but there’s a way to score there, but you have to hit some good shots.

"It’s an exciting week. It's one of the tougher courses that we play all year, but it's a challenge which we all cherish."

Germany's Marcel Siem is unable to defend the title he won last year after undergoing hip surgery recently, but compatriot Yannik Paul – who finished runner-up by a shot 12 months ago – is in the field alongside four-time DP World Tour winner Rasmus Hojgaard.

"Sometimes second places feel really good and others, they don't feel that good," Paul said.

"I was pretty disappointed last year but in general, second is a great result. I let it go, it took a while but at some point when I got to summer it was all good."

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