Shubhankar Sharma finished an eventful year ranked Number one golf player in Asia after emerging as the 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion following a dream season which saw him rewrite many Indian records. The 22-year-old secured the top spot on the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings after the proceedings at the South African Open to cap off a brilliant year.
“2018 is the year that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I’ve played all the majors, all the WGCs and won the Arjuna Award as well as the Asian Tour Order of Merit,” he was quoted as sayibg by Golf Australia.
@shubhankargolf was presented the @asiantourgolf Order of Merit trophy for 2018 @asiantourgolf annual awards night. Sixth time an Indian becomes Asia No. 1. The year 2018 will go down as the year of @shubhankargolf in Indian golfing history. @mls01aer pic.twitter.com/Yg7Uv9hjxG
— PGTI (@PGTITOUR) 16 December 2018
He added: “I’ve always dreamt of winning the Order of Merit since turning professional in 2013. I used to watch the Asian Tour on TV, seeing the likes of Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh and Anirban Lahiri, who have all won the merit title. I am honoured to be part of that illustrious list.”
MENTION CURRENT RANKING AND WHO HE OVERTOOK
Shubhankar carried his winning momentum over to the new season as he clinched his second Asian Tour title at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia overcoming a four-shot deficit by shooting a final round 10-under-62 to claim a stunning two-shot victory at the $3 million event.
In March, Shubhankar posted a commendable tied seventh at the Indian Open that helped him climb to a career-high 64th in the world rankings. He carded a sizzling 64 during the Indian Open week to set a new course record.
The 22-year-old Chandigarh-based joined the exclusive club of Indians who have achieved the Asian Tour Order of Merit in the past – Jyoti Randhawa (2002), Arjun Atwal (2003), Jeev Milkha Singh (2006 and 2008) and Anirban Lahiri (2015). Anirban Lahiri held the previous record of being the youngest Indian to be crowned Asia No. 1 when he bagged the honour in 2015.
Outside of the Asian Tour, Shubhankar has a top-10 at the WGC-Mexico Championship 2018 to his name. He has played all four Majors and all four WGC events this year, clinching the European Tour Rookie of the Year award after finishing a creditable 28th in the race to Dubai standings.