India’s Shubhankar Sharma failed to build on a superb start to finish at two-under 70 in the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player on the European Tour in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Sharma, who finished tied-seventh in Turkish Airlines Open last week, was four-under after starting from the 10th. But he gave away three bogeys and had just one more birdie on the front nine for a card of 70. He was lying tied-17th.
Louis Oosthuizen took the lead with a brilliant nine-under 65, while Thomas Detry shot 66. Guido Migliozzi turned in 30 to set a blistering pace but finished at 67 in third place.
South Africans, Ernie Els and Zander Lombard were tied fourth at 68. Els got a rapturous reception as he went off in the first group of the day and soon had the crowd cheering even more.
Diksha in fine form
Diksha Dagar pulled away from the rest of the field with two birdies in the last three holes in the 15th and final Leg of the Women’s Pro Golf Tour in Kolkata on Thursday.
Dagar, looking for her first win on the domestic tour as a professional, is now in sole lead at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
She carded her second straight one-under 71 to get to two-under 142 and open up a three-shot lead over overnight co-leader Ridhima Dilawari (74). Dilawari, looking for her fifth win this year, is one-over 145 for 36 holes.
Diksha won the final leg of the 2017 season, but as an amateur. She turned pro at the start of this year and won the Women’s South African Open on the Ladies European Tour, but she is yet to win on the Indian pro Tour this year.
In her three previous starts this season, she was third in the first leg, Tied-second in the 13th Leg and was fourth last week in the 14th Leg.
Vani Kapoor (72) moved into third place at 146 and was one shot ahead of amateur Pranavi Urs (72) at 147. Amandeep Drall had an up-and-down round with three birdies, four bogeys and a double in her 75, and is fifth at 150.
Dagar opened with a birdie on the first and then dropped bogeys on eighth and 12th, but birdied 16th and 18th for a 71.
Dilawari birdied fourth but dropped bogeys on fifth, sixth and 11th for her 74.
Tvesa Malik, the second most successful player on the domestic Tour this year with three wins, had a terrible start and never recovered from it.
She began with bogey, bogey, double bogey to be four-over through the first three holes. She did not drop any more bogeys and picked one birdie on the Par-3 13th for a total of 75, to go with her first round 76 and a total of 151 in Tied-sixth alongside Thai girl P. Supakchaya (73-78).
Gauri Karhade (78-76) and Khushi Khanijau (75-80) were eighth and ninth, while Neha Tripathi (76-80) and Siddhi Kapoor (74-82) were tied tenth.