Sports

Sharma shoots stunning 64 to rise to 11th at Turkish Airlines Open

V Krishnaswamy Antalya | Updated on November 08, 2019 Published on November 08, 2019

Shubhankar Sharma ensured he was not left out of the party on a day when low scores were in abundance at the Turkish Airlines Open. Sharma, who called his first round 71 a “battling round” of which he was very proud, was in a ‘zone’ as he shot eight-under 64 to rise from overnight T-37th to Tied-11th at the halfway stage.

Sharma is nine-under for 36 holes as Austrian Matthias Schwab (67), who has five Top-10s in last eight starts, birdied the 18thto break away from a big pack and take sole lead at 12-under and make a charge for his maiden title.

Alex Noren (67) was also 12-under when he came to the final hole, but after coming out well from the thick bushes, he three-putted the Par-5 18thto fall to 11-under, alongside 2016 Masters winner, Danny Willett (67-66), Thomas Detry (66) and Ross Fisher (64), who has not won since early 2014. Fisher birdied each of the five Par-5s.

The day’s best of nine-under 63 came from left-hander Scottish rookie Robert MacIntyre, who has been knocking on the doors of victory with three runner-up finishes this season. Starting from the 10th, six of his nine birdies came on the front nine of the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course as he zipped through the stretch in six-under 29. He missed birdies at three of the five Par-5s.

Double defending champion, Justin Rose, added a second straight five-under 67 tot get to 10-under and positioned himself well to make a dash for a third successive Turkish Airlines Open win.

Sharma was elated with his round and said, “The best part was that it was a bogey free round. I drove much better than the first round and my iron play was on the spot. I found all fairways barring two, one of which was barely an inch off. I seem to have a birdie chance on most holes and the longest putt was just over 10 feet, maybe about 12. So I played my approaches also well,” said Sharma.

Comparing his first two rounds, he said, “I was proud of the first one for the way I fought back and today I made almost no errors. I did miss a two and a half foot putt and on my last hole, the ninth, I had a makeable eight-footer, which I stroked well, but it did not fall.”

On the gameplan for next two days, “On a course like this any of the players can come up with a low number and zoom up, so I need to play well to stay somewhere up. Today’s job was well done, but there is two more days to go.”

Another player to go low was Justin Harding, who was six-under 29 for the front nine, in his 65. At 10-underhe was Tied-sixth with Rose, MacIntyre, Jason Scrivener (66) and David Lipsky (68).

The 2018 Masters champion, Patrick Reed celebrated his inclusion into the President’s Cup team for US, with a 65 that saw him go up more than 20 places to T-14.

Published on November 08, 2019
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