Sharma crowned Asia Tour’s No.1, be­comes fifth In­dian to clinch Or­der of Merit ti­tle

Bangkok Post - - GENERAL -

>> SENTOSA: In­dia’s Shub­hankar Sharma has cap­tured the Asian Tour Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Stand­ings ti­tle af­ter a ground­break­ing year of achieve­ments.

Af­ter mak­ing a ca­reer break­through at the 2017 Joburg Open, the 22-yearold Sharma car­ried his win­ning mo­men­tum over to the new sea­son and clinched his sec­ond Asian Tour ti­tle at the May­bank Cham­pi­onship in Malaysia.

There, Sharma over­came a four­shot deficit by shoot­ing a fi­nal round 10-un­der-par 62 to claim a stun­ning two-shot vic­tory at the US$3 mil­lion event. He earned a win­ner’s cheque of US$500,000, which gave him a sig­nif­i­cant head­start in the merit race.

A month later in March, he set a new course record at the DLF Golf and Coun­try Club en route to a tied­sev­enth fin­ish at the Hero In­dian Open. Sharma carded a siz­zling 64 in the sec­ond round, beat­ing the mark set by 2017 Asian Tour Or­der of Merit cham­pion Gavin Green by one shot.

Sharma’s com­mend­able fin­ish in In­dia ex­tended his ad­van­tage on the Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Stand­ings.

The money race was heat­ing up fol­low­ing the out­stand­ing per­for­mances by South Korea’s Park Sang-Hyun and South Africa’s Justin Hard­ing on Tour. How­ever, Sharma had one hand on the cov­eted tro­phy af­ter he fin­ished tied-sixth fin­ish at the Hong Kong Open in Novem­ber.

With Park not play­ing and Hard­ing miss­ing the cut at the South African Open, Sharma’s lead on the merit list is unas­sail­able go­ing into the sea­so­nend­ing In­done­sian Mas­ters. And with that, Sharma is crowned Asia’s new No.1.

Sharma is the fifth In­dian to earn the dis­tinc­tion.

Out­side the Tour, Sharma has a top-10 at the 2018 WGC-Mex­ico Cham­pi­onship to his name, played all four ma­jor tour­na­ments this year and was awarded the Euro­pean Tour Rookie of the Year. “This year has been a huge learn­ing curve for me. I’ve played in some of the big­gest events I could ever imag­ine and learned a lot. I know I have the game to be among the best in the world and I just want to keep play­ing well and give my best shot,” said Sharma.

Shub­hankar Sharma of In­dia.

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