Hong Kong: India's Shubhankar Sharma said he is looking to cement his position atop the Asian Tour Order Of Merit with another impressive show at the Hong Kong Open to be held from November 22 to 25.
The race to become Asia's number one golfer is set to heat up when the USD 2 million event gets underway at the Hong Kong Golf Club with more than 30 Asian Tour champions from over 15 countries expected to tee up.
Shubhankar leads the Habitat for Humanity standings by slightly more than USD 130,000 over second-placed Sanghyun Park of Korea and with the winner's purse worth USD 333,330, the claim for pole position is still wide open.
"I'll be playing Hong Kong and the next few events after that. So I'm looking forward to playing well now. It's high time. It's the end of the year now and I feel like I've to do my best to have a chance to win the Order of Merit and I'll try and do that," said the Indian.
Shubhankar enjoyed an outstanding season, winning his second Asian Tour title in Malaysia and posting several impressive results globally. He had finished tied-10th at the Hong Kong Open last year.
"This year has been a huge learning curve for me. I've played in some of the biggest events I could ever imagine and learned a lot," said Shubhankar, who played in all four Majors this year and finished tied-ninth at the World Golf Championships in Mexico.
The 22-year-old Indian will have to fend off the challenges of several of his closest rivals including South Africa's Justin Harding, who has also enjoyed a standout season with two wins and two top-five finishes in only six starts on the Asian Tour.
The Hong Kong Open is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association. It also marks the start of the European Tour's 2019 Race to Dubai.
The tournament will welcome the return of defending champion Wade Ormsby of Australia and also feature reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed, 2017 Green Jacket winner Sergio Garcia as well as world number 10 Tommy Fleetwood of England.