Why JoBurg Win Is A Big One For Shubhankar Sharma

Shubhankar Sharma produced a brilliant, nerveless performance in the final round to win his first European Tour title at the weather-delayed Joburg Open. The Indian entered the final …

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Shubhankar Sharma produced a brilliant, nerveless performance in the final round to win his first European Tour title at the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The Indian entered the final round at Randpark Golf Club with a five-shot lead but had seen that cut to four when play was halted due to storms at 1.00pm local time on Sunday, with his ball on the eighth green.

Shubhankar Sharma produced a brilliant, nerveless performance in the final round to win his first European Tour title at the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21 year old showed no ill effects from the overnight delay, birdieing the ninth and then parring his way home for a 69 that moved him to 23 under and gave him a three-shot victory over South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen, who carded a 66.

A place at the Open Championship was on offer for the top three players in the field not already exempt and South African Shaun Norris joined Sharma and Van Rooyen in booking his place at Carnoustie Golf Links as he finished at 17 under alongside Finn Tapio Pulkkanen.

England’s Marcus Armitage was then at 15 under, two shots clear of countryman James Morrison and Dane Joachim B Hansen.

Sharma has five wins on the Professional Golf Tour of India and can now add a European Tour victory to his CV in just his tenth event

Sharma has five wins on the Professional Golf Tour of India and can now add a European Tour victory to his CV in just his tenth event, having achieved eight top tens on the Asian Tour including the co-sanctioned UBS Hong Kong Open two weeks ago.

“It feels absolutely wonderful to have won this week,” he said. “I actually wasn’t going to come here about a week ago and I decided to come so I’m really happy that I came. This is my first time in South Africa and I don’t think I’m ever going forget my first time in South Africa.

“I hit the ball good and I putted really well but the key up-and-downs I made over the first three days, I think I only missed two up-and-downs over the whole week.

“Even today, the up-and-downs I made on the tenth, the 13th and the 15th were very crucial. Once in a while you just have to make a few par saves to get a  round going and I did just that the whole week.”

Report by European Tour

The 2017 Joburg Open is the ninth Asian Tour event to record a Monday finish after the 2016 BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open, 2016 SMBC Singapore Open, 2013 CIMB Classic, 2011 Barclays Singapore Open, 2010 Barclays Singapore Open, 2008 HSBC Champions, 2006 Hero Honda Indian Open and 2005 BMW Asian Open.
This is the first time the Joburg Open will finish on a Monday.

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