Subhankar Sharma had been living quietly in the shadows the last couple of days. With Rashid Khan and the seasoned Sanjay Kumar hogging the limelight, the 17-year-old from Gurgaon was hanging around in the joint 12th spot.
But Subhankar came to the fore in the final round on Saturday evening and lifted the PGTI Cochin Masters title at the CIAL Golf Club, Nedumbassery.
It was his maiden title on the professional tour and also became the youngest-ever winner of a PGTI title at 17 years and nine months beating the record of Bangalore’s S. Chikkarangappa who won a title at 20 years and two months. Subhankar, now in his second year on the pro tour, took home Rs. 8 lakh for the victory.
An eagle on the club’s par-5 16th hole where he found the green in two and sank an eight-footer, carried him past the rest of the field and to the trophy.
“That eagle was the turning point,” said the youngster who has just finished his 12th exams. He also had a birdie on the 14th and another on the last hole
“I’m thrilled with my first win. Winning a title was one of my goals for the season. It’s great to have a title under my belt so early in my professional career,” he said.
“This will help me play more freely now and give me a lot of self-belief.”
Shubhankar, who came up with the joint best score of four-under-32 in the final round, totalled nine-under-135. Delhi's 23-year-old Rashid Khan and Lucknow’s Sanjay Kumar finished joint runners-up at seven-under-137 in the Rs. 50 lakh PGTI Super Series event.
The title also helped Shubhankar climb from the 23rd place to the fourth spot in the Rolex Rankings and from ninth to the top spot in the PGTI Super Series points table after the second event.
Sanjay Kumar, the overnight joint leader, slipped to tied second after an even-par-36 on Saturday that featured a birdie and a bogey while Rashid Khan also had a 36 in round four which had two birdies and two bogeys.
Final scores (four rounds, par 144): 135: Shubhankar Sharma (33-37-33-32), 137: Rashid Khan (32-35-34-36) & Sanjay Kumar (33-35-33-36); 138: Kapil Kumar (34-34-36-34); 139: Muthun Perera & K. Prabhagaran; 140: Abhijit Singh Chadha & Manav Jaini; 141: Ashok Kumar, Abhinav Lohan & Rahil Gangjee.