Shubhankar Sharma wins by three-strokes
Shubhankar Sharma produced a brilliant performance in the final round to win his first European Tour Title at the weather-hit Joburg Open.
The final round on Sunday was scheduled for a Monday finish, where Sharma was able to post 2 birdies in his 8 holes play, followed by Erik Van Rooyen at 18-under, for the day before the round was suspended due to thunderstorms.
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.
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The final round started at 7.30 AM local time at Randpark Golf Club, Sharma playing for the first time in South Africa, qualified for The Open 2018 at Carnoustie Golf Links, and became the youngest Indian and first Asian to win the Joburg Open.
“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 well 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.”
Anirban Lahiri was 27 years old when he won Maybank Malaysian Open in 2015.
Shubhankar remained bogey-free for three 55 holes with his 3-under 69 in the final round consisting 3 birdies and Rooyen posted six birdies in his round of 6-under 66 for a 3 shot gap at 20-under 267.
Following the leader, Sharma and second-finisher Rooyen are Shaun Norris and the first round leader Tapio Pulkkanen, who was playing his second event on the European Tour finished for a share of the 3rd position on the board at 17-under 270. Where Tapio posted 4-under 68, Norris posted7-under 65 in the final round.
Marcus Armitage finished for a fifth finish with his final round of 2-under 70 for a total of 15-under 272 consisting 3 birdies and a bogey for the finish. Joachim B. Hansen and James Morrison shared the 6th spot on the board at 13-under 274.