Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma battled his way to a one-under 71 to lie tied 17th after a roller coaster third round at the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on Saturday. After dropping five in three in the third round, Sharma waged a hard battle with five birdies in six holes to reach 10-under.
The 23-year-old first moved backwards at one stage after seven he was down in the 40s – and then clawed his way back on a day when the pin positions were really tough. Sharma needs more gains on Sunday to get a spot in next week’s Nedbank Challenge. Sharma’s recovery came in the stretch from eighth to 13th during which he made five birdies. He forced his way into red numbers at one-under but still dropped from overnight T-11 to Tied-17th.
Overall he had seven birdies, two doubles and two bogeys. Englishman Matthias Schwab landed an eagle for the third day in a row and had six other birdies.
He could even afford a double bogey on par-4 12th and still open up a three-shot lead over a bunch of five players led by Benjamin Hebert (64), Tyrell Hatton (65), Patrick Reed (65), Robert MacIntyre (67) and Ross Fisher (68).
Justin Rose’s chance of a three-in-a-row took a big hit, as he bogeyed the fourth and double bogeyed the ninth and had just two birdies in his 73 to slid to Tied-25 at nine-under. Looking drained, but happy, Sharma said, “I am proud of the way I fought back on the first day and then again today.”
After starting the day with a birdie, he dropped a doubles on fifth and seventh and a bogey in between on sixth to be four-over after seven.
Chawrasia takes share of lead in Thailand Open
India’s SSP Chawrasia made a fine charge towards the end of third round with three birdies in a four-hole run, taking a share of the lead at the Thailand Open Chachoengsao on Saturday.
Chawrasia, who last played at the Thai Country Club in 2007, shot three-under 68 to get to 10-under and join his playing partner, Andrew Martin (68).
The golfer, who is skipping next week’s Panasonic Open India to play in the European Tour Qualifying School, needs to get inside Top-60 on Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings to retain his Asian Tour card. He is right now 64th.
Among other Indians, Ajeetesh Sandhu, playing with Chawrasia, had a rough round with five bogeys between third and eighth and finished with two-over 73 on the back of three birdies on the back nine. At five-under for the tournament he is tied 11th alongside Shiv Kapur (71), who had two birdies in first three holes.
Jyoti Randhawa, whose last Asian Tour win came at this very event in 2009, but at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club, shot four-under 67 to move up to tied 26th. Interestingly, that year at the Thai Open, Chawrasia was tied fourth.
Chawrasia, smiling as always, said, “It’s been 12 long years since I last played here at the Thai Country Club. The course still feels similar to back then except that the trees have grown much taller. It was nice to be back here and be in a share of the lead heading into the final round.”