Shubankar Sharma to lead Asian Tour stars in CIMB classic

Ace Indian pro Shubhankar Sharma will spearhead the Asian Tour stars to the ninth edition of the US$7 million CIMB Classic which starts on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.
Sharma, the current Habitat for Humanity Standings leader on the Asian Tour, will make his first appearance alongside debutants Sanghyun Park of Korea, Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe, Justin Harding of South Africa and the in-form John Catlin of the United States at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Other Indians in the field are Gaganjeet Bhullar, a nine-time Asian Tour winner who will make his third appearance, Anirban Lahiri, who finished tied-third in the showpiece in 2016 in Southeast Asia’s only PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament and  Rahil Gangjee.
Korea’s Minchel Choi and American duo Sihwan Kim and Berry Henson will also feature in the event.
Sharma is enjoying a fine run in 2018, highlighted by his second Asian Tour victory in Malaysia in February. He continued his remarkable rise at the World Golf Championships in Mexico where he led heading into the final round before finishing tied-ninth in his first attempt.
He is also the youngest Indian to play in all four major championships this year, following the footsteps of Jeev Milkha Singh in 2007 and Anirban Lahiri in 2015 and 2016. His fine performances this year did not go unnoticed as he was awarded with the prestigious Arjuna Award from the President of India last month.
“I’ve never played in the CIMB Classic before and it should be very exciting. I’ve watched it on television before and my second win obviously came in Malaysia, so I’m looking forward to returning and putting up another good show,” said Sharma.
The 22-year-old will also look to extend his lead on the Habitat for Humanity Standings as half of the money earned at the CIMB Classic will be counted on the Order of Merit.
“I had a bigger lead before but the players are playing better and everyone’s getting closer. I know I’ve got to play well and I have to finish strong in the last few events so I’m going to give it my best,” said the Indian.
Malaysia will be represented by Asian Tour winner Ben Leong, who replaced Gavin Green in the field as the second highest ranked Malaysian on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and Kim Leun Kwang, winner of the CIMB National Championship.

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