A flurry of bogeys and double bogeys on the back nine spoiled the card of Shubhankar Sharma, who tumbled from a decent T-48th at the start of the day to a disappointing 72nd at the end of his third round at the 148th British Open at Royal Portrush on Saturday.
At the start, Sharma birdied the Par-5 second for the second day running and then had a nice birdie on ninth. But all that changed once the back nine began.
Double bogeys on 10th and 11th were followed by a bogey but he had a bogey-bogey on 13 and 14th. Once again on 15th he had a double. The birdie on 18th was somewhat soothing at the end.
He ended the day with a six-over 77 and was 72nd out of the 73 players who have made the cut.
He has one more day to repair his scorecard on the final day, which also happens to be his 23rd birthday.
“I sure would like to mark that with a good final round and make some amends,” he said.
Sharma was clearly disappointed with the outcome of the day, during which he lost two golf balls, on the fifth and the 15th. He had four birdies, four double bogeys and two other bogeys. Yet, he tried to look at the positives.
“That birdie on the 18th, from 12-13 feet was a bright spot. It is not an easy hole, so that gave me something positive to go back with and hopefully it will be some momentum to play a good final day.”
Summing up his round he said, “Just too many doubles, four of them. One on fifth and then three on the back nine and twice I lost a ball, it was just one of those days, more so on the back nine. I just lost my swing on the back nine. It is not just the right course to lose your swing at any time and you need to be on fairways.”
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Shane Lowry said it had been “the most incredible day” after firing a stunning eight-under-par 63 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood into the final round.
The 32-year-old delighted the thousands of fans following him around the course in the first Open to be held in Northern Ireland since 1951, pouring in eight birdies in his bogey-free third round, the best of the championship.
His 16-under overall total of 197 is the lowest after 54 holes in British Open history.