Shubhankar Sharma makes quick work of Maybank Championship field

SAUJANA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, SHAH ALAM, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - 2018/02/04: Shubhankar Sharma pro golf player from India poses with the Maybank Championship trophy after he won by the score of 21 under 267 during day four. Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shubhankar Sharma makes quick work of Maybank Championship field

Professional

Shubhankar Sharma makes quick work of Maybank Championship field

Shubhankar Sharma didn’t take long to settle into the European Tour. A 21-year-old Indian, Sharma returned a final-round 62 to win the $3 million Maybank Championship, his second European Tour win in just 13 tournaments. 

Sharma, who won the Joburg Open in December in just his 10th European Tour start, began the final round four shots off the lead in Kuala Lumpur. He played the front nine in 31 strokes to move to 18 under. He birdied the 11th, 13th and 14th holes and stood on the 16th tee with a two-shot lead.

“I played pretty solid and it wasn’t easy because it was windy,” Sharma said. “I kept pushing the whole day. I knew I had to make a lot birdies to catch the leaders. I made a lot of birdies on the front nine and just continued on the back.

“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.’”

He did just that. Birdies on the 17th and 18th saw him come home in 31 for a 21-under-par 267 total. It was good enough for a two-shot win over Jorge Campillo. The Spaniard was looking for his first European Tour victory in his 196th start, but had to settle for his fourth European Tour runner up.

Sharma becomes the third Indian to win twice in the same season following Jeev Milkha Singh (2006) and Anirban Lahiri (2015). Sharma’s $500,000 check takes him to the top of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, with the chance to finish higher than both Singh and Lahiri have on the money list. Singh finished 12th in 2008, while Lahiri placed 20th in 2015. 

“The last two months have changed my life,” Sharma said. “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 dreamed of winning and now I’m a two-time winner on the Asian Tour and European Tour.”

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