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September 19, 2019

Shubhankar Sharma

Surrey, England

Q. What does it mean to receive the Sir Henry Cotton Award you just received from Keith Pelley?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: It means a lot. You can only win it once in your career, so I'm really stoked about it, really happy. I had a great season last year and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Q. A couple of wins, to win so early in Joburg, tell us your memories from that week?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Yeah, it was just the perfect week. To be honest, I wasn't going to go and play that week. It was towards the end of the season. I was pretty tired and I did decide to go and turned out to be great. Just played great golf all four days and over two courses. Was really happy, and it was a long week. It was a Monday finish and worked out in the end.

Q. To win one is special and another, even more so, and so quickly. Did it come as a surprise or you confident going into Malaysia?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: It actually was a surprise. I wasn't feeling too well before that week. I wasn't feeling too well, and I was itching to go back home. I was just outside the Top-10, and just wanted a decent day on the last day and ended up shooting 62. Golf is a funny game. I was delighted, it was a great day and one of the best rounds I've shot in my life.

Q. What clicked? You must have had everything going in your favor there?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Pretty much everything. I holed a lot of putts. Hit it pretty close and to be honest, I didn't really look at the leaderboard because I teed off quite early compared to the leaders. By the time I was on the 9th, they were just starting. Probably they were on the third or fourth. There was too much happening and too many players in contention and I actually looked at it when I was on the 15th. Made two birdies coming in. It was just the perfect day. It made everything, like you said, hit the right shots at the right time.

Q. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it's a life-changing couple of tournaments for you. Opening up doors to the majors, WGCs and the rest of the season. What was the overall highlight of the year?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: Just a lot happened last year to be honest. Obviously the two wins were fantastic and then having a chance to win at México was great. Got an invite for the Masters. Played the U.S., British and the PGA, so it was definitely a dream. I can't really pick one highlight, just too much happened and really fortunate that I had a great year like that.

Q. What was the reaction from your wins and the overall season, the way your career's gone up, from family, friends and everyone back home?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: It's been great. Everyone's been very supportive. My family has been very supportive. Dad comes out a lot, and Mom came to the Masters. I have a lot of friends and family that keep calling me when I'm on Tour when it gets lonely. I have a nice mix of fans back home and my wins really helped a lot of kids get into golf back home. A lot of guys were inspired by me and I think that was the biggest thing for me as a professional; that so many kids look up to me now and want to follow in my footsteps. That is definitely something that keeps me going.

Q. You touched on it there, there's been some great Indian players over the years and now you're the next generation. Do you feel you have a responsibility that you can influence more people back home to take up the game?
SHUBHANKAR SHARMA: More responsibility -- like you said, it's very exciting that I can impact the life of so many kids back home and they all look up to me. Each good performance that I put on The European Tour really helps, and gives them more confidence to keep going and believe in themselves. I think that's the biggest takeaway from me, and I am fortunate that I am in the position that I can influence everyone back home.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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