India’s Sharma fires 10 birdies to clinch Malaysia title

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KUALA LUMPUR: India’s Shubhankar Sharma fired 10 birdies to stun crowds and secure a two-shot win at the US$3 million Maybank Championship in Malaysia on Sunday.

It is the second Asian Tour and European Tour victory for the 21-year-old, who pocketed US$500,000 and triumphed with a 10-under-par 62 on the final day of the tournament just two months after clinching the Joburg Open.

Speaking to reporters after the win, the world number 193 said 10 was his lucky number.

“It’s always tough to make more birdies when you’re trailing the leaders, but I was calm and fantastic, so it was great,” he said.


Shubhankar Sharma of India hits a bunker shot on the 18th during the final round of the 2018 Maybank Malaysia Golf Championship at Saujana Golf and Country Club outside Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. AFP PHOTO

“I’ve had a few 10-under pars, the first one I shot was in Manila two years back. And then I shot 10-under again in Joburg to win, so that number is lucky for me.”

In sweltering conditions, Sharma came into the final round tied-19th, needing to make up four shots to catch overnight leaders Spaniard Jorge Campillo and South African Dylan Frittelli.

His road to victory began with an incredible four consecutive birdies, which included a 15-foot putt at the seventh hole.

Another birdie on the ninth was followed with an impressive birdie on the 11th, before he dropped in a further four to finish on a high.

“I didn’t start well, but made the four birdies,” he said.

“Even on the back nine, I just kept playing well. It’s still sinking in, really happy with the way I played.”

Runner-up Jorge Campillo meanwhile carded 68 for an overall 19-under-par 269.

His compatriot Pablo Larrazabal was tied-third with New Zealander Ryan Fox.

Fritelli finished tied-fifth, along with Italy’s Nino Bertasio, India’s Khalin Joshi and Japanese duo Ryo Ishikawa and Hideto Tanihara.

Lee Westwood, who shot a 62 on Friday, was unable to maintain his form and finished tied-11th together with French pair Matthieu Pavon and Romain Wattel, Netherlands’ Joost Luiten, Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer and American Paul Peterson.

AFP

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