Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Rising Indian star Shubhankar Sharma carded a stunning closing 62 to win the US$3 million Maybank Championship.
Aged 21, Sharma overcame a four-shot overnight deficit with a dominant display to clinch his second Asian Tour and European Tour title with a winning total of 21-under-par 267 in windy conditions at Saujana Golf and Country Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
In his fourth start since winning the Joburg Open in South Africa in December, Sharma produced a sensational final round where he made five birdies in each half, including clutch birdie putts on 17 and 18.
He defeated co-overnight leader Jorge Campillo of Spain, who eagled the opening hole before returning with a 68 to settle for second place, while Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal and Ryan Fox of New Zealand finished in third place after posting identical 66s.
The victory earned him US$500,000 and moved him to the top of the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings and on the Race to Dubai on the European Tour.
He becomes just the third Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh and Anirban Lahiri to win two European Tour events in the same season.
Sharma said: “I played pretty solid and it wasn’t easy because it was windy. I kept pushing the whole day. I knew I had to make a lot of birdies to catch the leaders. I made a lot of birdies on the front nine and just continued on the back.
“To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about the leaderboard. I wanted to set a target in my mind and try to achieve it.
“On the 13th I knew I was somewhere near the leaders but on 16 I knew I had a two-shot lead. I told myself: ‘If I can make two more birdies, that would give me a good chance to win’.
“The last two months have changed my life. I’ve been a member on the Asian Tour for a while and I will continue to be a member on the Asian Tour. I’ve always dreamt of winning and now I’m a two-time winner on the Asian Tour and European Tour.”
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