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