Golf

Golf: Shubhankar Sharma leads strong host contingent at Indian Open

Sharma, the world no. 72 has won two European tour titles in two months and will lead the Indian charge.

New golfing sensation Shubhankar Sharma, along with two-time defending champion SSP Chawrasia and former winner Anirban Lahiri, will lead a strong Indian challenge at the 54th edition of the Indian Open to be held at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram from March 8 to 11.

The European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event will also feature other star Indians such as Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa and Shiv Kapur, who had a phenomenal 2017 with three Asian Tour titles.

The tournament, to be played at the Gary Player layout of the challenging DLF Golf and Country Club, will also feature top names like Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who is a PGA Tour winner and member of the 2017 Presidents Cup team.

Other marquee names also include Andrew Johnston and Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, who has 21 worldwide wins, including 15 on European Tour. Just last month, Bjorn led a strong European team to a fine win over Asia in the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.

Past champion Thongchai Jaidee and Ryder Cup player Chris Wood, who won the 2016 BMW PGA Championships, are also on the field. But the spotlight will be on Shubhankar, the highest-ranked Indian in the $1.75 million tournament.

With two European Tour wins in less than two months, Shubhankar has broken into top-100 in the world at no. 72. But it won’t easy for the youngster as World no. 76 Lahiri, a regular on the PGA Tour, will try to reclaim the trophy which he last won in 2015.

Defending champion Chawrasia too would be eager to claim a hat-trick of titles following his wins here in 2016 and 2017. Other Indians to feature in the tournament are Gaganjeet Bhullar, Ajeetesh Sanshu, Mukesh Kumar, Chirag Kumar and Rashid Khan to name a few.

Shiv Kapur summed the importance of the tournament nicely when he said: “The National Championship (the Indian Open) is the most important tournament in your calendar. For a Indian golfer, it is like the fifth Major. Every golfer dreams of winning his or her national championship.”

(With inputs from PTI)

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Tracing the formation of Al Qaeda and its path to 9/11

A new show looks at some of the crucial moments leading up to the attack.

“The end of the world war had bought America victory but not security” - this quote from Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer-Prize winning book, ‘The Looming Tower’, gives a sense of the growing threat to America from Al Qaeda and the series of events that led to 9/11. Based on extensive interviews, including with Bin Laden’s best friend in college and the former White House counterterrorism chief, ‘The Looming Tower’ provides an intimate perspective of the 9/11 attack.

Lawrence Wright chronicles the formative years of Al Qaeda, giving an insight in to Bin Laden’s war against America. The book covers in detail, the radicalisation of Osama Bin Laden and his association with Ayman Al Zawahri, an Egyptian doctor who preached that only violence could change history. In an interview with Amazon, Wright shared, “I talked to 600-something people, but many of those people I talked to again and again for a period of five years, some of them dozens of times.” Wright’s book was selected by TIME as one of the all-time 100 best nonfiction books for its “thoroughly researched and incisively written” account of the road to 9/11 and is considered an essential read for understanding Islam’s war on the West as it developed in the Middle East.

‘The Looming Tower’ also dwells on the response of key US officials to the rising Al Qaeda threat, particularly exploring the turf wars between the FBI and the CIA. This has now been dramatized in a 10-part mini-series of the same name. Adapted by Dan Futterman (of Foxcatcher fame), the series mainly focuses on the hostilities between the FBI and the CIA. Some major characters are based on real people - such as John O’ Neill (FBI’s foul-mouthed counterterrorism chief played by Jeff Daniels) and Ali Soufan (O’ Neill’s Arabic-speaking mentee who successfully interrogated captured Islamic terrorists after 9/11, played by Tahar Rahim). Some are composite characters, such as Martin Schmidt (O’Neill’s CIA counterpart, played by Peter Sarsgaard).

The series, most crucially, captures just how close US intelligence agencies had come to foiling Al Qaeda’s plans, just to come up short due to internal turf wars. It follows the FBI and the CIA as they independently follow intelligence leads in the crises leading up to 9/11 – the US Embassy bombings in East Africa and the attack on US warship USS Cole in Yemen – but fail to update each other. The most glaring example is of how the CIA withheld critical information – Al Qaeda operatives being hunted by the FBI had entered the United States - under the misguided notion that the CIA was the only government agency authorised to deal with terrorism threats.

The depth of information in the book has translated into a realistic recreation of the pre-9/11 years on screen. The drama is even interspersed with actual footage from the 9/11 conspiracy, attack and the 2004 Commission Hearing, linking together the myriad developments leading up to 9/11 with chilling hindsight. Watch the trailer of this gripping show below.

Play

The Looming Tower is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, along with a host of Amazon originals and popular movies and TV shows. To enjoy unlimited ad free streaming anytime, anywhere, subscribe to Amazon Prime Video.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon Prime Video and not by the Scroll editorial team.