18 April 2018
Super Shub Strikes the Final Round
Shubhankar Sharma was on fire at the Maybank Championship. The red-hot Indian sank 10 birdies for a remarkable 10-under-par 62 in the final round to claim a stunning two-shot victory at the US$3 million event.
He did it in some style, too. Struggling in the opening two rounds at the Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, he survived the halfway cut by a single stroke. He then scored 66-62 in the last two rounds to reach a total of 21-under par and achieve a two-stroke edge over runner-up Jorge Campillo of Spain. The talented Indian overcame his four-shot deficit with a dominant display to clinch his second Asian Tour and European Tour title with a winning total of 267.
“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 in the front nine and just continued on the back,” said Sharma, as quoted by the Asian Tour. “To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about the leaderboard. I wanted to set a target in my mind and try to achieve it.”
Sharma collected $500,000 for the victory and also a place in the upcoming WGC-Mexico Championship as well as moving to the top of the Race to Dubai rankings. A long jump for a golfer who, only three weeks before his maiden victory, finished T-68 at the European Tour Qualifying School.
Did you know?
- Sharma dropped only three shots the entire week; he had one bogey in round one, two, and three.
- This is Sharma’s fourth start since winning at the Joburg Open in South Africa in December.
- His final round 62 is his joint lowest score on the Asian Tour in relation to par. He shot a 61 (par 71) in the second round of the Joburg Open and a 62 on the last day of the 2016 Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Sharma’s winning total of 21-under is the lowest winning score at the Maybank Championship. His two-shot victory equals the largest winning margin in the event. Marcus Fraser also won by two shots in the inaugural edition in 2016.
- He is the first Asian to win the Maybank Championship and second Asian Tour member after Fraser to clinch the title.
- The last time an Indian won in Malaysia was Anirban Lahiri in 2015. He went on to win the Order of Merit title in the same year.
- This is Sharma’s second Maybank Championship appearance. He finished tied ninth last year to secure his Asian Tour card.
- Sharma is one of the rising stars on the Asian Tour and he joins a list of young champions to emerge from the region’s premier Tour.
- Sharma’s friend and roommate for the week, Khalin Joshi also had a good result. He finished tied fifth to earn US$92,880 and has virtually secured his Asian Tour card for next season.