Shubhankar Sharma has enjoyed a golden run over the past few months on the international stage. Nothing reflects the 21-year-old’s meteoric rise more than the giant strides he’s made in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) since his first European Tour win at the Joburg Open in December last year.
When Shubhankar entered the event in South Africa he was ranked 462 in the world. His victory at the Joburg Open soon catapulted him to 226. Thereafter, his steep ascent has continued thanks to his second European Tour triumph at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia on Sunday. The win in Kuala Lumpur elevated Sharma from 193 to 72, a gain of 121 spots.
Shubhankar, a Chandigarh resident, who has his roots in Jammu, has now not only broken into the top-100 for the first time in his career but has also emerged as the highest ranked Indian in the world surpassing Olympian and PGA Tour regular Anirban Lahiri, who is currently placed 76th in the OWGR.
Sharma now also has the rare distinction of leading both the European Tour Race to Dubai and the Asian Tour Order of Merit. Shubhankar’s latest success also helped him join the exclusive club of Indians who have achieved two wins in the same European Tour season, the others being Jeev Milkha Singh (2006) and Anirban Lahiri (2015).
The race to represent India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just got a lot more intense as there are now five Indians in the top-200 of the world. With two and a half years still to go to the next Olympics, an interesting contest might ensue for the two berths on the Indian team as the likes of Shubhankar Sharma (72), Anirban Lahiri (76), Gaganjeet Bhullar (155), Shiv Kapur (192), Ajeetesh Sandhu (199) and SSP Chawrasia (226), are all in the fray at the moment.