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Sharma holds nerve to claim maiden tour win at Joburg Open

The 21-year-old Sharma led for the final two rounds after a scintillating 61 on Friday and had 11 holes to complete after lightning, rain and hail forced the event into an extra day.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma claimed a maiden European Tour title at the rain-hit Joburg Open on Monday 11 December 2017. Picture: Instagram/@Europeantour

JOHANNESBURG - India’s Shubhankar Sharma claimed a maiden European Tour title at the rain-hit Joburg Open on Monday when he returned to the course to card a final round 69 to secure a three-shot victory at the Randpark Golf Club.

The 21-year-old Sharma led for the final two rounds after a scintillating 61 on Friday and had 11 holes to complete after lightning, rain and hail forced the event into an extra day.

His tournament total of 23 under-par was three ahead of South African Erik van Rooyen (66), whose outright second place provided him with a best-ever European Tour finish.

“It feels wonderful to have won, I actually wasn’t going to come to South Africa about a week ago, but in the end decided to travel and I ‘m really happy I did that,” Sharma said at the trophy presentation.

“I hit the ball good and putted well, but the key for me were the up and downs I made through the week. Once in a while you have to make some par saves to get a round going and I did that.”

South African Shaun Norris (65) finished tied for third with Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen (68) at 17 under-par, a result that allows the former to join Sharma and Van Rooyen in the field at next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links.