Sharma fails in Classic bid

Shubhankar Sharma
Shubhankar Sharma

OVERNIGHT joint leader Shubhankar Sharma could not play his best golf on the final day, managing only an even par round to finish tied-10th at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday (14).

Coming on the heels of a period during which he has had six missed cuts in nine starts, a joint lead by round three augured well for the 22-year-old from India.

However, it did not turn out be his day and he was understandably disappointed at not being able to convert his second career 54- hole lead into a maiden PGA Tour title.

Australian Marc Leishman, who came close to quitting the game in 2015 when his wife was discovered with a rare life-threatening condition, continued his fine run to win his fourth
title on the PGA Tour.

Leishman carded a seven- under 65, that took his total to 26-under, equalling the tournament record set in 2015 by Justin Thomas.

Leishman ended five shots ahead of second placed trio Bronson Burgoon (68), Emiliano Grillo (66) and Chesson Hadley (66).

Among other Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar had a good finish with a sevenunder 65 that lifted him 15 places up to T-27.

Anirban Lahiri (70) was four-under for the week, while Rahil Gangjee (72) was five-over and T-75th.

Sharma, who had two bogeys in his first six holes, came back strongly with four birdies from the 7th to 10th, only to lose the momentum over the next three holes, which he bogeyed.

“Sure, it was disappointing to finish T-10 after being in the lead, but I would gave gladly taken this before the start, coming from where I was before this week.

“A top 10, my second one on the PGA Tour, and a 19-under total is not bad. It gives me a good feeling for next two weeks in Korea and Shanghai,” said Sharma.

Sharma had five birdies against five bogeys and was the only player in the top- 25 not to go under par last Sunday. Sharma missed a birdie putt on the first when he was two inches
from the cup and then missed a four-footer on 14 before squandering two more chances on 17 and 18.

“My start was not as good, but I came back really strong. I made four birdies in a row and I was really happy with the way I was playing. I knew I had a chance as I was only three
behind,” he added.

“Then, there was a wait on the 11th hole and I was in between clubs so I was trying to hit a soft rescue. That was probably one of the worst swings of the day and that ended up in the water. I think that killed the momentum for me.

“A par there would have gone a long way and I probably could have made more
birdies after that.”