Shubhankar misses lower in Joburg Open

Johannesburg, November 21

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma missed his first 36-hole cut in eight starts as he exited early at the Joburg Open, a tournament he won when it was last played in November 2017.

Following Sharma’s triumph in 2017, the event did not take place in 2018 and 2019.

After a first round 76, which included a quadruple bogey on the Par-5 12th, Shubhankar struggled in the second to 8-over 79, including two doubles, seven bogeys and three birdies.

Sharma had exited after 54 holes in the previous tournament, the Aphrodite Hills Showdown, an event that was stroke-play for 36 holes and then knock-out for last two rounds.

Prior to that Sharma made six straight cuts with a best finish of tied-14 at the Aphrodite Hills Open in Cyprus.

Jacques Blaauw of South Africa, with a round of 66-63 at 13-under led by one over fellow South African Wilco Nienaber (63-67) who was 12-under.

Aaron Cockerill of England was third with  64-68 at 10-under. First round leader Matt Wallace shot a 71 and slipped to tied-11 at 7-under.

The home favourites had been locked together at 12-under par when play was suspended for one hour and 50 minutes due to a dangerous weather situation on Friday afternoon, with talented 20-year-old Nienaber on the 15th green and Blaauw two holes further down the course.

Blaauw was able to hole his 20 foot birdie putt on the 17th green when play resumed, before safely parring the last to sign for a sensational 63 and head into the weekend on 13-under at Randpark Golf Club.

Nienaber bogeyed 16th to slip two behind Blaauw but birdied the 17th and parred the 18th to finish the day in second place on 12-under. PTI

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