Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma found two birdies in his last three holes to card a two-under 69 which placed him tied-second at the Italian Open, though the second round was yet to complete on Friday.

The 23-year-old Sharma, a two-time winner on the European Tour, is now seven-under though almost half the field was yet to finish their second round at the Olgiata Golf Club in Rome.

At 7-under he was two shy of the leader Joachim Hansen (67-66).

SSP Chawrasia, who shot three-over 74 in the first round, was fighting back and was four-under through 10 holes. He was now inside the cut line which looked likely at Par.

Gaganjeet Bhullar, however, was likely to exit early as he was three-over through nine holes in second round after a first round of 74 to get to a total of six-over.

Sharma was in some very high quality company in the shared second place alongside former US Open winner and Olympic gold medallist, Justin Rose (66-69) and former World Cup winner, Rory Sabbatini (66-70).

Matthew Fitzpatick was three-under through nine holes on second day and a total of seven-under with nine holes to play.

Sharma, who started from the 10th, bogeyed the 11th but fought back with birdies on 13th, 15th and the 17th. He was then hit by a double on 18th to fall back to even par for the day.

A bogey on third pushed him over par, but birdies on fourth, seventh and ninth meant he was back in business at two-under for the day and seven-under for 36 holes.

Atwal struggles

In the Houston Open, Arjun Atwal will need a solid second round to hang around for weekend action after he shot one-over 73 and was tied-98th after the opening round.

Austin Cook and Talor Gooch shot eight-under-par 64s on Thursday to take the lead after the first round. Russell Henley, Lanto Griffin and Tyler McCumber are lurking after 6-under 66s.

Henrik Stenson, a two-time runner-up here, has eight strokes to make up and is in danger of missing the cut after his par 72.