Shubhankar’s stunning 63 takes him into joint lead, Udayan too rises

Jamshedpur, Dec 18 (Golf News) Shubhankar Sharma set the Golmuri Golf Course ablaze with a nine-under 63, his best ever score over nine holes, that catapulted him into the joint lead along with 2019 champion Udayan Mane in round three of the Rs. 1.5 crore TATA Steel Tour Championship here on Saturday.

Udayan shot a fighting 67 to boost his chances of winning the Order of Merit title at the Beldih and Golmuri Golf Courses.

Shubhankar (67-71-63) and Udayan (68-66-67), currently third in the PGTI rankings, totalled 15-under 201 to be placed two shots ahead of the chasing pack consisting of other contenders including defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar (67-67-69), SSP Chawrasia (63-69-71), a three-time winner in Jamshedpur and Veer Ahlawat (68-67-68), who is currently eighth in the PGTI's merit list and also has a shot at the Order of Merit crown.

Shubhankar followed up his sedate 71 in round two with a red-hot 63 to make a strong comeback in the tournament as he climbed seven spots from his overnight tied eighth position.

The 25-year-old, a two-time winner on the European Tour, fired two eagles, six birdies and a bogey during his outstanding effort that matched the tournament's lowest round earlier shot by Chawrasia on day one.

Sharma, a winner in his previous appearance in Jamshedpur in 2016, kick-started his round with birdie-eagle on the first two holes with a 12 feet and 25 feet conversion respectively.

Shubhankar then landed it within a foot for birdie on the sixth and for his second eagle of the day on the ninth. He also had three other birdies during his extraordinary front-nine at Golmuri.

After the turn, Sharma's round slowed down as he could only pick up a birdie and a bogey on the back-nine at the Beldih Golf Course.

Shubhankar said, "I'm really happy as I shot my best score in nine holes ever. However, the back-nine was a bit of a dampener as I didn't make any inroads there. But shooting a 63 is great especially on the moving day.

"The birdie-eagle start gave the impetus to my round which I built upon through the front-nine. I also started well in Beldih but missed an easy up and down on the 12th that took the wind out of my sails a little bit." Olympian Udayan, lying overnight tied third and two off the lead, too had a good start to the day as he birdied the first from 10 feet and then recovered well from the bunker wall with a chip-putt birdie on the fourth before sinking a 30-footer for birdie on the fifth.

Udayan dropped a shot on the eighth but soon regained control with birdie on the ninth.

Udayan then made two-under on the back-nine in Beldih with a 25-feet eagle conversion on the 12th and a birdie and bogey each. Mane, currently third on the PGTI Order of Merit, is now in with a chance of winning the Order of Merit title if he triumphs in Jamshedpur.

Bhullar's 69 featured an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys while SSP Chawrasia's 71 included five birdies and four bogeys.

Ahlawat struck an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys during his 68. Ahlawat too has an opportunity to win the Order of Merit title if he wins this week’s event. He is eighth in the merit list at the moment.

Bengaluru's Chikkarangappa, currently second in the PGTI Order of Merit, shot a brilliant 65 to move up 27 spots to tied 20th at six-under 210. With a possible top-5 finish in Jamshedpur, Chikka too stands a chance of wrapping up the Order of Merit title.

Indian golf legend Jyoti Randhawa (70) ended the day in tied 46th place at one-under 215. 

Also Read : Jaipur's Khushi wins maiden title at final leg of Hero WPGT

News Source : PTI


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