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July 18, 2019

Shubhankar Sharma

Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Q. How was that?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Good day today. 1-under is always a good start in a major championship, so pretty pleased.

Q. Bogey-free?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Yes, absolutely. That is the major takeaway from today. Made a few crucial par putts coming in, especially the one on the 14, 15, and 16th were key. And then that up-and-down birdie was nice, too.

I think I played really solid today.

Q. Did you leave something out there, as well?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: In the first few holes I started -- 12 hole I think I should have made birdie. I was on the left side of the green, hit it up to about 5 feet and missed that. And had a few chances on the front nine, as well.

But I'm very pleased. It's not easy out there, so pretty happy with it.

Q. The 14, 15, and 16 that you spoke about, how long were the par putts?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: 15 was the longest, 14 and 15 were about 5 feet. Same on the 18th, as well, was about a 5-footer. 15 was a 20-footer for par. So I was in the center of the fairway, hit a bad second shot and it was a tough up-and-down from there. Made that par putt. So pretty pleased with the day.

Q. Overall with your game, you're pretty happy with the way you're swinging and the short game, everything?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Pretty happy. I think everything was pretty much on point. In the beginning I was kind of struggling with the lines and didn't really hole too many putts. But found my rhythm on the back nine, made a few crucial ones, like I said. The longest birdie putt of the day, the longest putt I made was on the 13th, about a 30-footer for birdie.

After that I kind of was beginning to read the line properly and made a few crucial ones coming in.

Q. I think that was the first time you got paired with Brooks. Did you see something with his game to lead you to understand --
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Second time. The first time was in 2013. He had come for a Challenge Tour.

Q. Did you see something in his game?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: He 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's very -- he gets on the ball and gets on. I think that's the best part.

Q. Was it strange playing with him after six years and now as the world No. 1?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: It was fine. We spoke about it. It was a long time ago. It was fun. It was pretty intense. A lot of people following us, cheering us. It was a lot of fun.

Q. Did he remember you as a 16-year-old kid that day?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: I don't know. 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.

Q. There was a good crowd following you. Any thoughts on that?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Yeah, I was kind of expecting that. Playing with the world No. 1 you would expect a lot of people following you.

Then the weather got bad and it was just coming and going. It was just one of those days. We were putting on our rain jacket and then taking it off and then wearing it again.

The crowds were amazing. So many people coming out to watch. It's always nice when you get so much support.

Q. Is there anything different about Brooks' game than six years ago?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: I really don't remember that now.

Q. You beat him by three.
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: I beat him by three?

Q. One of the days.
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Yeah, I mean, obviously his physical appearance has changed since then. He wasn't as masculine as he is right now. He was very thin and he had longer hair at that time, I remember that. And even I was -- I just was coming out of the gates. I 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.

Q. Was he as focused and serious back then as he seems to be now?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: I'm sure he was. It was just the last day, so we were just kind of get done with it, to be honest. Obviously I've seen him on TV since then. I think he won on the Challenge Tour.

Just to see him now, what he has done, is sensational. It just inspires guys like us to play and get there as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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