News


Johannesburg, South Africa, 10 Dec 2017

Sharma to resume title charge on Monday, leads by four after seven holes of the final round

Shubhankar Sharma of India will continue his title hunt at the Joburg Open on Monday after thunderstorms forced officials to call off play.
 
The 21-year-old Sharma was 22-under through seven holes before a thunderstorm at 1 pm forced officials to suspend play at the Randpark Golf Club.
 
An official announcement was made to stop play for the day at 5.30 pm with players returning on Monday at 7.30 am to finish the final round.
 
Sharma, searching for a first Asian Tour victory, holds a four-shot advantage but a fast-charging Erik Van Rooyen has a close-range birdie putt on the ninth hole to narrow the gap.
 
The young Indian, who held an overnight five-shot lead, birdied holes two and six but local favourite Van Rooyen is hot on his heels after making four birdies in eight holes.

Sharma is still bogey-free in his last 44 holes. He only dropped three bogeys in the opening round. He is in the running to win his first Asian Tour title and become the first Asian to win the Joburg Open in his first appearance in South Africa. He can also claim one of the three tickets to The Open in 2018.
 
Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England were on 14-under through eighth and seven holes respectively at the R16.5 million (approximately US$1.2 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Sunshine Tour.

Shubhankar said, “I’m going to treat it like another day. I’m going to do the same things which I’ve been doing in the last four days.  It is not frustrating but you get into a groove when you start and you don’t want to come off. I saw the clouds coming on the seventh hole and I was praying we could finish. But we can’t help it. I’m playing well so I want to continue doing that.

“If we started today, then it will be tough but tomorrow will be a new day for me. It would have been tougher if we had to play a few holes today. It would be easier to finish it off tomorrow.
 
“In the beginning I tried to calm myself but it started to rain! So I went to talk to people, talked to Gavin (Green) and my father on the phone. I had to cancel my flight tickets today but that was an easy thing to do considering the position I’m in.
 
“I’m glad I hit a good tee shot on the second hole. I had a dream last night that I hit my tee shot into the bushes! So I felt relieved when my tee shot landed on the fairway today. I also ended up making birdie!”

Source: Asian Tour
 
 

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