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Sensational Sharma storms to victory in Malaysia

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Shubhankar Sharma carded a sensational closing 62 to win his second European Tour title of the season at the Maybank Championship.

The Indian claimed his maiden victory in just his tenth event at the Joburg Open in December and made it two from 13 at Saujana Golf & Country Club as his bogey-free finish got him to 21 under.

Spaniard Jorge Campillo finished two shots back after firing a 68, a shot clear of his compatriot Pablo Larrazábal and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox.

The win takes Sharma to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and he becomes just the third Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh and Anirban Lahiri to win two European Tour events in the same season.

Sharma made four birdies in a row from the fourth to get within two of the lead and then holed a long putt on the ninth to turn in 31 and cut the gap to one. The 21 year old never looked back as he went on to fire five birdies on the back nine to match the ten under par Englishman Lee Westwood carded in round two earlier this week.

Sharma shared, “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 birdies to catch the leaders. I made a lot of birdies in the front nine and just continued on the back.

“To be honest, 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.

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

“It is still early in the season and I haven’t thought about winning the Habitat for Humanity Standings (formerly Asian Tour Order of Merit). I’m also leading in the Race to Dubai but I’m not thinking about it because there are so many events left. If I play well enough, I will have a good chance to win the Habitat for Humanity Standings. This win is great because it opens so many doors for me. I’m also playing in The Open so I’m excited about that. All and all, it is a great day.

“This is a very special golf course. I finished tied ninth here last year and it was my first Maybank Championship and best result in a co-sanctioned event. I kept my Asian Tour card here because of this result here. Obviously, I love the course. It wasn’t easy today because it was very windy but this course suits my eye."

Italian Nino Bertasio and Japanese pair Ryo Ishikawa and Hideto Tanihara all carded rounds of 69 to finish at 16 under alongside India's Khalin H Joshi, who is Sharma’s roommate this week, and South African Dylan Frittelli who finished with a 71. American Berry Henson also carded a 71 to finish at 15 under and close out the top ten.

Final scores

267 S Sharma (Ind) 70 69 66 62,

269 J Campillo (Esp) 69 66 66 68,

270 R Fox (Nzl) 68 68 68 66, P Larrazábal (Esp) 70 70 64 66,

272 N Bertasio (Ita) 68 65 70 69, D Frittelli (RSA) 69 66 66 71, K Joshi (Ind) 67 70 65 70, R Ishikawa (Jpn) 74 66 63 69, H Tanihara (Jpn) 71 64 68 69,

273 B Henson (USA) 69 68 65 71,

274 P Peterson (USA) 69 70 65 70, M Kieffer (Ger) 69 66 71 68, R Wattel (Fra) 67 73 65 69, M Pavon (Fra) 70 67 70 67, L Westwood (Eng) 72 62 70 70, J Luiten (Ned) 72 68 66 68,

275 A Sullivan (Eng) 71 66 71 67, S Jamieson (Sco) 68 69 69 69, D Lipsky (USA) 67 68 71 69, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 68 65 70 72, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 66 71 67 71, B Hebert (Fra) 69 70 65 71,

276 T Detry (Bel) 68 68 69 71, P Pittayarat (Tha) 72 66 70 68, S Kapur (Ind) 70 67 67 72, D Kataoka (Jpn) 68 67 72 69,

277 C Paisley (Eng) 65 69 72 71, G Bhullar (Ind) 68 71 66 72, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 69 70 72 66, A Johnston (Eng) 67 71 68 71, P Marksaeng (Tha) 71 65 67 74, J Pagunsan (Phi) 68 70 73 66, Y Miyazato (Jpn) 71 67 66 73,

278 J Colomo (Esp) 71 67 70 70, D Boonma (Tha) 70 66 71 71, A Atwal (Ind) 67 71 68 72, C Shih-Chang (Tpe) 68 69 73 68, D Horsey (Eng) 66 70 72 70,

279 S Vincent (Zim) 71 68 71 69, Y Ikeda (Jpn) 70 64 71 74, G Green (Mas) 68 69 69 73, T Jaidee (Tha) 69 67 69 74, A Otaegui (Esp) 69 71 69 70, P Meesawat (Tha) 74 66 70 69, J Janewattananond (Tha) 68 71 70 70, S Gallacher (Sco) 70 65 73 71, S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 67 71 72, S Lee (Kor) 67 69 71 72, T Bjørn (Den) 68 68 69 74,

280 J Randhawa (Ind) 67 71 71 71, M Tran (Vie) 73 65 70 72, G Storm (Eng) 72 68 69 71, A Nazrin (Mas) 70 68 74 68, T Wiratchant (Tha) 70 70 69 71,

281 S Chawrasia (Ind) 69 71 71 70, M Manassero (Ita) 70 68 70 73, S Yates (Sco) 72 66 74 69, A Dodt (Aus) 71 65 74 71, A Levy (Fra) 67 70 73 71,

282 F Zanotti (Par) 68 69 75 70, H Stenson (Swe) 72 67 73 70,

283 M Southgate (Eng) 73 66 72 72, S Kim (USA) 71 69 71 72, J Wang (Kor) 70 70 70 73, A Connelly (Can) 71 69 73 70, R Ramsay (Sco) 71 68 73 71,

284 M Warren (Sco) 68 66 69 81, A Lascuna (Phi) 69 68 72 75,

285 J Smith (Eng) 70 68 74 73,

286 R Wannasrichan (Tha) 70 70 72 74, J Norris (Aus) 71 69 73 73,

287 K Horne (RSA) 71 68 74 74,

288 D Im (USA) 69 71 73 75

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