Sharma slips with double bogey on last hole

Incheon, Apr 27 (PTI) Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma was cruising along well till he hit a double bogey at the very last hole to slip to tied 31st after the first round at the Korea Championship here on Thursday.

Placed at three-under through 17 holes on a tight leader board, Sharma started on the tenth and double bogeyed the ninth for a day’s card of 1-under 71.

From being inside the Top-10 he dropped to tied 31st.

Meanwhile, Manu Gandas came back from a hopeless situation with two birdies in the last four holes for a card of 2-over 74 that left him in tied 91st place and he will have a lot of work to do to make the cut.

Sharma looked good for most part of the day as he teed off from the tenth and picked early birdies on 12th and 14th to be 2-under through five holes. He dropped a shot on Par-5 third, which was disappointing, but birdies on fourth and seventh holes saw him get to 3-under before the double bogey on Par-4 ninth.

After a great start to the season with a seventh place in Abu Dhabi, Sharma has missed four cuts in last five starts and is keen to get his rhythm back.

Gandas bogeyed second, sixth, 13th and 14th but birdies on Par-5s at the 15th and the 18th kept his hopes alive.

Antoine Rozner equalled his lowest career 18-hole score as he began with a bogey-free round of 63 to open up a commanding four-shot lead.

The Frenchman started from the tenth tee in the morning and fired six birdies on his front nine before picking up three more shots after the turn to get to nine under par.

Home favourite Park Sanghyun, who finished third on one of the DP World Tour’s previous stops in Korea at the 2011 Ballantine’s Championship, and England’s Andy Sullivan are Rozner’s nearest challengers at five under.

The course conditions were challenging with the pins tucked a bit and different tiers on the greens.

None of the afternoon starters were able to get close to the 30-year-old at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, as he continued the form that has seen him pick up his third DP World Tour title at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and record three other top-ten finishes so far in the 2023 season.

South Korean Lee Hyungjoon was among those in a tie for fourth, alongside Alexander Knappe, Pablo Larrazábal, Alexander Björk and Yannik Paul, who finished his round in style with an eagle on the 18th. They were all at 4-under 68.

Source: PTI News


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