Tense closing birdie helps Sharma make cut at Dubai Desert Classic golf

Dubai, Jan 28 (Golf News) Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma rode on a closing birdie with a 12-foot tense putt to make the cut at the 2022 Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic here on Friday.

Sharma, at one time was in danger of missing the cut, which looked like falling at even par and eventually fell at one-over.

Sharma, with birdies on third and 18th and bogeys on fourth and sixth, carded a second straight par and was placed T-49th.

With the cut coming at one-over, as many as 80 players ensured play over the weekend.

South Africa's Justin Harding landed a spectacular eagle to light up a 68, which he also called a grind, and took a two-shot lead into the weekend.

The South African had to return to complete his opening round on day two and birdied the last to take a share of the 18-hole lead before a hole-out from 183 yards on the par-four sixth in round two helped him hit the front at 11-under, two clear of four-time Rolex Series champion Tyrrell Hatton.

Sharma, who finished runner-up at the Rolex Series Abu Dhabi Championship last week, was relieved to ensure a chance over the weekend instead of missing out after a good week in Abu Dhabi.

"That would have been a pity, as I am playing well. That closing birdie, which was a bit of a double breaker, was good to go back with. It gives you confidence," he said.

"Mentally, it was a grind. It wasn't easy to make putts. I wasn't stroking at the best either. So it was tough towards the end. I was waiting patiently for a birdie to secure my spot for the weekend. But, I'm still confident I'm playing well. It's all about getting on to a good start tomorrow." Asked about his hitting, Sharma added: "I was hitting the ball really well yesterday and even today it was just putting that didn't work. I would say it could have been a solid 3 or 4 under. With that hitting I should have done better." Harding is a two-time winner on the DP World Tour but is yet to star in a Rolex Series event, with last week's tie for 25th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship matching his best finish.

South African Erik van Rooyen and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti were at eight-under, one ahead of Ryder Cup teammates Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy, England's Richard Bland, Dane Joachim, B Hansen and Pole Adrian Meronk.

Defending champion Paul Casey was in the all-English group at six-under alongside Marcus Armitage, Tommy Fleetwood, Sam Horsfield and Lee Westwood. 

Also Read : Aditi cards 6-under for a flying start, lies third; Nishtha way behind

News Source : PTI


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