Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi
Ace golfer Shubhankar Sharma has set his sights on winning the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings as he prepares for his debut at the US$7 million CIMB Classic which starts on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.
The Indian star has led on the Habitat for Humanity Standings since winning in Malaysia in February but he has Sanghyun Park of Korea, who has won twice on the Asian Tour, breathing down his neck.
With Park also in the elite field this week and a mere US$54,278 separating the duo, Shubhankar knows he must put in a solid performance at the TPC Kuala Lumpur, a course where he has never played on before.
“I’ve seen this event on television for so many years, and obviously Anirban (Lahiri) won the Malaysian Open here a few years ago so I’ve seen this golf course a lot on television and today was my first look at it. I’m really happy that I’m part of this event and looking forward to it” said Shubhankar
The 22-year-old Indian hopes to take a step closer towards becoming the Asian Tour’s number one golfer as half of the earnings won at the CIMB Classic will be counted on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.
“I haven’t really thought about anything or set any goals. Winning the Order of Merit is something I want to achieve by December and playing well here goes a long way to achieve that. That will be number one goal for now.”
Apart from Shubhankar, his three other compatriot – Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee and Anirban Lahiri – are also taking part in this tournament. This is the highest number of Indians playing in the tournament since its inception in 2011.
Malaysia’s Leunkwang Kim will also make his dream debut in the event after winning the CIMB National Championship. Kim, who is close friends with reigning Order of Merit champion Gavin Green, will play in his career’s biggest tournament after sharpening his game on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).