India’s Shubhankar Sharma holed more birdies than either of the first two days, but also dropped four shots in an eventful third round to be placed tied 37th in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Shubhankar posted his first-ever score in the 60s. After 71-70 on the first two days, he returned three-under 69 to get to six-under for the tournament.

“One shot improvement each day,” said Shubhankar with a smile.

“There were a lot of birdies, which was good, but there were also some stupid bogeys including a three-putt on 14th. So, it was a mixed bag, but still overall okay.

“I am pretty content as three-under is a good score. At the start I did not find too many fairways, but found the rhythm on the back nine, but still I feel I left a few shots out there. Yet, it is possible to shoot a low number on this course as some players have shown.”

There was a time when the leaderboard had eight players sharing the lead and over 40 players within three of the lead.

The veteran 46-year-old Lee Westwood then delivered a five-under 31 on the front side of the course. It included an eagle from inside five feet on the par-5 eighth after a superb second shot.

Leader by three at one stage, Westwood finished with three birdies against one bogey on the back nine for a day’s total of seven-under 65 that carried him to the top at 14-under.

Westwood ultimately finished one ahead of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (65) and overnight leader Italian Francesco Laporta (69).

Matt Fitzpatrick (69) was fourth at 12-under. American Kurt Kitayama, who in a five-week period in 2019, finished in Top-4 three times in Italy, France and Turkey, shot 68 in the third round to tie for fifth spot with Sergio Garcia (67) at 11-under.

Wiesberger showed that his excellent form of 2019 was still continuing as he matched Westwood’s 65 and was placed tied-second alongside overnight leader Laporta.

The morning belonged to German Sebastian Heisele(64) as he moved from the cut line at one-under to the very top for a brief while before others overtook him. He was eventually T-9 by the end of the day.

Earlier in the morning, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who made the cut on the line despite a quadruple bogey ‘9’ on par-5 second on second day, shot 65 on the third day to zoom up to T-14 at eight-under.

India’s Ridhima Finishes 7th To Earn Tour Card In China

India’s Ridhima Dilawari ended with a creditable total of seven-under 281 to finish seventh and become only the second Indian to grab full playing rights on the China LPGA Tour in Wanning on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Delhi-based Ridhima, shot rounds of 72-67-73-69 to finish seventh and take one of the 30 cards that were up available this week.

Ridhima was T-20th after the first but moved up to T-5th at the halfway stage and was then T-10th after the third day before finishing seventh.

The 18-year-old Chinese amateur Yin Ruoning from Shanghai won the top honours at CLPGA Q-School with a total of 11-under 277 as she shot 71-67-67-72 at the 6,247-yard, par-72 Dunes at Shenzhou Golf Club West Course designed by Tom Weiskopf.

Ridhima, who played for Columbia College in the US, before turning out for India at the 2018 Asian Games, won on the India pro Tour at the end of 2018.

She won the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour while being an amateur. She turned pro in thee latter half of 2018 and won once again.

In 2019 she won five times on the WGAI and last week she won the opening event of the 2020 Hero Women’s Golf Tour season.

Ridhima is the second Indian after Sharmila Nicollet, who won a full card after finishing T-21 in 2018.

Sharmila played four events and finished in Top-20 twice and missed the cut twice. She is now playing on the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School.

Yin Ruoning, who was part of the Chinese team that won a bronze medal in Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, will, however, not turn pro immediately as she plans to play 2020 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Pattaya and Blue Bay Masters.

Of the 30 cards that were available 10 each went to players from Japan and Thailand.

Rashid lying seventh in Singapore Open golf

India’s Rashid Khan had an eventful day, firing six birdies but also had four bogeys to finish at two-under 69 and was placed seventh on the third day of the SMBC Singapore Open golf tournament in Singapore on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Delhi golfer, who has two Asian Tour wins, is way behind the runaway leader Matt Kuchar, who shot nine-under 62 to move to 17-under.

He is enjoying four-shot lead over Asia No.1 Jazz Janewattananond (67) and Filipino Miguel Tabuena (66) who are 14-under at the USD 1 million event, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

Rashid will have an added incentive as he can also earn a berth to the 149th (British) Open Championship at Royal St George’s if he is one of the top four.

Canadian Richard Lee (65) and Korean teenager Kim Joohyung (67) are tied fourth at 13-under while reigning Olympic champion Justin Rose (68), with 11-under, is sixth followed by Rashid (69) at eight-under.

Currently Rashid is the fourth best as Kuchar, Jazz and Rose, who are ahead of him, have already qualified for the Open.

“I know about the spots available for the Open, but no pressure. I just want to do my best and the rest will come by itself,” said Rashid, a three-time winner of the Order of Merit on Indian domestic Tour.

Among other Indians, SSP Chawrasia (69) is T-36, Rahil Gangjee (72) is T-39, Khalin Joshi (72) is T-57 and Shiv Kapur (74) is T-68.

Rashid, who shot 66 on the second day, had six birdies including three in a row from the third to the fifth after opening with a bogey. He added birdies on 10th, 14th and 18th but dropped shots on first, eighth, 11th and 12th.

American Kuchar’s 62 will not go into the record books as preferred lies were used at the Serapong Course.

The 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist and a nine-time winner on the PGA TOUR had four birdies on his front-nine and another five in his back nine for a total of 17-under 196.