Rising Indian star Shubhankar Sharma stormed to victory in the Maybank Championship with a stunning closing round of 10-under-par 62 at Saujana Golf & Country Club.
The talented 21-year-old birdied 10 holes including the last two at Saujana’s Palm Course to finish on 21-under-par, claiming his second joint Asian Tour and European Tour title by two shots from overnight joint leader Jorge Campillo of Spain. Another Spaniard, Pablo Larrazabal, shared third place on 18-under-par with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox.
Sharma produced a great comeback after struggling in the opening two rounds where he was tied in 48th place at the halfway stage. A third round 66 put him within four shots of the lead and he charged into contention on the final round with five birdies on the front nine.
He marked his card with further birdies on 11, 13 and 14 which gave him a two-shot advantage on the 16th hole as he romped to victory in emphatic style to become the first Asian to win the Maybank Championship. He raked up two more birdies on the last two holes to earn US$500,000 and move to the top of the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings and the Race to Dubai on the European Tour.
“The last two months have changed my life. I’ve always dreamt of winning and now I’m a two-time winner on the Asian Tour and European Tour,” said Sharma, who won the 2017 Joburg Open by three shots with a 23-under-par total.
“I’m over the moon. I’m playing in The Open championship this year so I can’t ask for anything more,” he added.
Malaysia’s Gavin Green had a disappointing closing round of 73 to fall back into joint 39th place on nine-under-par, one shot ahead of compatriot Amir Nazrin who signed off with a 68.
RESULTS (TOP 10 & TIES):
267 (-21) – Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 70-69-66-62
269 (-19) – Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 69-66-66-68
270 (-18) – Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 70-70-64-66, Ryan FOX (NZL) 68-68-68-66
272 (-16) – Nino BERTASIO (ITA) 68-65-70-69, Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN) 74-66-63-69, Hideto TANIHARA (JPN) 71-64-68-69, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 67-70-65-70, Dylan FRITTELLI (RSA) 69-66-66-71
273 (-15) – Berry HENSON (USA) 69-68-65-71