Shubhankar Sharma wins the Maybank Championship (Getty Images)
The Race to Dubai has a new leader after Shubhankar Sharma claimed his second European Tour victory of the season in sensational style at the Maybank Championship to shoot to the top of the Rankings.
The exciting 21-year-old talent from India closed with a breathtaking round of 62 to finish two strokes ahead of overnight leader Jorge Campillo to pick up 500,000 points and take his season tally to 748,073, moving him from eighth position into the Race to Dubai top spot, previously occupied by England’s Tommy Fleetwood. A debut in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is now all but confirmed too.
“Shubhankar has started his career on the European Tour in sensational fashion and is one of the most exciting young prospects in the game,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International, Dubai Office. “The sky is the limit for what he can achieve throughout the rest of 2018 with the season still only a few months old. We look forward to welcoming him to Dubai in November for the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.”
Sharma started the final round at Saujana Golf Club four shots behind Spaniard Jorge Campillo however five birdies in his first nine holes saw him rise to the top of the leaderboard.
The Indian never looked back and went on to hole five more birdies in his final nine holes to sign for 62 and finish the championship with an outstanding 21 under par 267.
"I played pretty solid and it wasn’t easy because it was windy," said Sharma who becomes only the third Indian after Jeev Mikha Singh and Anirban Lahiri to win two European Tour events in the same season.
"I kept pushing the whole day. I knew I had to make a lot birdies to catch the leaders. I made a lot of birdies on the front nine and just continued on the back.”
Meanwhile Campillo’s runner-up finish in Malaysia saw him leapfrog from 43rd to seventh in the Race to Dubai with a season tally of 395,715.
Ryan Fox also shot up the Rankings after a tied third finish saw him rise from 102nd to 14th in the Race to Dubai. The Kiwi now sits on 195,007 points for the season.
Hideto Tanihara of Japan made significant strides in the Race to Dubai after his tied fifth finish saw him break into the top 30 after starting the week off in 114th place and now has 114,230 points for the season.
Meanwhile German Maximilian Kieffer and Frenchman Romain Wattel moved into the top 50 after finishing tied 11th to collect 47,900 points each. The result sees Kieffer move from 106th to 45th place whilst Wattel finishes the week in 48th after being 116th pre tournament.
Dutchman Joost Luiten rocketed up the rankings after a tied 11th finish saw him pick up 47,900 points and move up 55th from 137th in the Race to Dubai.
Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Thai Phachara Khongwatmai finished tied 17th to earn 36,850 points each. Lorenzo-Vera moves from 121st to 67th whilst Khongwatmai climbs to 71st from 131st.
Last year’s Race to Dubai champion Englishman Fleetwood drops down to second in the Rankings after missing the event whilst China’s Haotong Li is now third after missing the cut in Malaysia.
The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 15-18.