Kuala Lumpur: Four Indians will tee-off at the CIMB Classic this week with Shubhankar Sharma leading the country’s biggest ever line-up in a PGA event. The youngest of the lot, 22-year-old Sharma, leads the expectations and the others in-form are Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri, who has been here before and was T-3 in 2015, and Rahil Gangjee, who did play on the Web.com Tour in the US, but it is in Asia that he is making his PGA Tour debut. Three players have won the event since it came on to the PGA Tour. Ryan Moore won it in 2013 and 2014 and then Justin Thomas claimed it in 2015 and 2016, while Pat Perez was the champion last year. All three are in the field this week. Other top contenders include Xander Schauffele, Paul Casey, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker and Kevin Tway, who won the Safeway Open last week.
Sharma leads the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings as he gets ready for his debut at the USD 7 million event. The Indian star has been in the lead 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 USD 54,278 separating the duo, Sharma knows he must put in a solid performance at the TPC Kuala Lumpur, a course where he has never played on before.