India’s Shubhankar Sharma Hangs In To Share Lead With Matt Wallace Of England
Prior to the tournament, many pros had highlighted that the DLF Golf & Country Club is ‘unforgiving’. The venue opened up it’s fangs on Saturday (March 10) as top pros including overnight leader Emiliano Grillo tumbled down the leaderboard during Round 3 of the US$ 1.75 million Hero Indian Open.
Only 9 professionals carded under-par rounds with Scotsman Stephen Gallacher (5-under 67) and Mathias Schwab (4-under 68) of Austria posting the best scores on Saturday. Englishman Matt Wallace submitted a card of 2-under 70 to share the lead with a persevering Shubhankar Sharma of India.
The home course favourite, Sharma, hung in despite erratic shotmaking to etch out an even par 72 to remain as the highest-placed Indian among the 7 making cut.
Chandigarh lad Ajeetesh Sandhu (2-over 218; tied 26th), 3-time Indian Open champion Jyoti Randhawa (4-over 220; T-32), World No. 80 Anirban Lahiri (4-over 220; T-32), Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (5-over 221; T-37), amateur Kshitij Naveed Kaul (7-over 223; T-48), Karandeep Kocchar (7-over 223; T-48) and multiple winner on the PGTI Udayan Mane (10-over 226; T-56) failed to fulfil the expectations of home fans.
Sharma began his round in steady fashion, parring the first two holes, before bogeying the par-3 3rd. He briefly recovered from the error by sinking birdies on the 5th, 7th and 8th to make the turn in 35. The 21-year-old tried to pick up the momentum with a birdie on the par-4 10th, that also gave him the outright lead albeit briefly as he bogeyed the very next hole.
The 2-time European Tour winner made comfortable pars till the 15th before his drive landed on the fringes of the left rough on the par-3 16th. The Masters invitee, though, wasn’t a bit perturbed as he chipped in to 25 feet off the pin before sinking a crucial par putt.