Shubhankar Sharma of India held his nerve to win the weather-delayed Joburg Open at the Randpark Golf Club by three shots from South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen.
21-year-old Indian Shubhankar Sharma closed with a 69 at the Randpark Golf Club to hold off the chasing pack and claim his maiden European Tour victory in the Joburg Open.
Shubhankar Sharma moved into a five-shot lead through 54 holes after a superb second round of 61 and a fine third round 65. He was still four clear when play was suspended for the day at 1pm on Sunday.
Sharma came out of the blocks strongly when play resumed on Monday morning. He birdied his first full hole, the 9th, and then steered a steady course through the back nine, parring every hole on the run for home to secure a three-shot win over Erik van Rooyen.
Shaun Norris of South Africa closed with a 65 to finish in a tie for third with Finland’s Tapio Pulkannen. England’s Marcus Armitage finished alone in fifth place.
Gear test – 2017 blades:
3 Talking points from the Joburg Open
1 – This was a maiden European Tour win for Shubhankar Sharma. The 21-year-old has five victories on the professional tour of India and he now has a European Tour title to add to his list of achievements.
“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 it.”
2 – There was further cause for celebration for Sharma. The first three finishers in this event earned a place in the field for The Open Championship next July at Carnoustie. The other two players who will be playing in next year’s Open are Erik Van Rooyen and Shaun Norris, both from South Africa. Norris actually tied for third place with Finland’s Tapio Pulkannen but it’s Norris who will be headed for Carnoustie thanks to his better World Ranking.
3 – England’s Marcus Armitage was the top British finisher in Joburg. The 30-year-old from Huddersfield secured his best ever finish on the European Tour – a solo fifth place.
Randpark Golf Club
1 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 69 61 65 69 264 €161,790
2 Erik Van Rooyen (RSA) 64 67 70 66 267 €112,283
T3 Shaun Norris (RSA) 69 68 68 65 270 €62,930
T3 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 65 64 73 68 270 €62,930
5 Marcus Armitage (Eng) 69 66 67 70 272 €42,157
T6 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 66 67 71 70 274 €33,124
T6 James Morrison (Eng) 64 70 67 73 274 €33,124
T8 Christofer Blomstrand (Swe) 70 68 62 75 275 €20,456
T8 Jinho Choi (Kor) 69 66 70 70 275 €20,456
T8 Charlie Ford (Eng) 70 64 71 70 275 €20,456
T8 Paul Peterson (USA) 70 67 69 69 275 €20,456
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage