Shubhankar Sharma of India watches his tee shot during the third round of the 2018 CIMB Classic Golf PGA Tour tournament, in Kuala Lumpur in October. Photo: EPA/Ahmad Yusni

JOHANNESBURG – Joburg Open champion Shubhankar Sharma on Sunday won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award to top off a remarkable debut campaign on the European Tour.

The 22-year-old Indian golfer started the season with a top-10 at the Hong Kong Open and two weeks later claimed his maiden European Tour victory at the Joburg Open in just his 10th start. 

The Joburg Open has since been scrapped in favour of ‘merging’ with the SA Open.

It only took him three more to win his second title as he carded a stunning closing 62 to lift the trophy at the Maybank Championship - joining Rookie of the Year predecessors Jon Rahm and Jeunghun Wang and former world No 1 Luke Donald as the only players in the last 20 years to win twice in their first 20 events.

Sharma finished in a tie for 41st in the season finale and 28th on the final Race to Dubai Rankings.

Joburg Open champion Shubhankar Sharma was the European Tour's Rook of the Year. Photo: Sunshine Tour
Joburg Open champion Shubhankar Sharma was the European Tour's Rook of the Year. Photo: Sunshine Tour

“You can only do it once in your career and I'm very happy with the season,” he said. “I'm very happy to be on the Tour here.

“I'm sure a lot of other great players before have won this award, I'm really happy that I was lucky enough to win it this year. I played well and won twice and had a few top tens, so very happy.

“To win twice and just to learn so much on this Tour with the best players in the world, I would say I had a great year.” 

African News Agency (ANA)


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