Johannesburg – Indian Shubhankar Sharma completed his maiden European Tour triumph on 11 December 2017 in Johannesburg by winning the Joburg Open tournament he almost did not compete in. He carded a three-under-par last-round 69 to finish three strokes clear of South African Eric van Rooyen in an event that stretched to five days because of bad weather.
The final round was suspended on 10 December 2017 due to torrential rain, lightning and hail and resumed on Monday at 07:30 local time. Sharma birdied three holes on the outward trek, then parred all the inward-nine holes with immaculate approach shots and putting highlights of his game.
Van Rooyen quickly became the biggest final-round threat to Sharma and five outward-nine birdies narrowed the gap to four shots by the turn. But he could add only one further birdie, leaving steady Sharma to succeed one week after compatriot Arjun Atwal finished runner-up in the Mauritius Open.
Visa delays and tiredness after a long Asian Tour campaign left Sharma contemplating missing the tri-sanctioned European Tour, Asian Tour and South African Sunshine Tour event. His late decision to visit South Africa for the first time paid rich dividends as he pocketed a R2.6 million first prize.