Carnoustie, Scotland, 21 Jul 2018

Sharma fires second straight 71 on his birthday to close round three of The Open in tied 56th place

India’s rising star Shubhankar Sharma celebrated his 22nd birthday at The 147th Open at Carnoustie on Saturday, signing for a second straight even-par 71 to tie in 56th place following the penultimate round.

Sharma, a two-time Asian Tour winner, became the youngest Indian to make the halfway cut in a Major championship, just one day before turning 22. He described making his first Major cut in his Open debut as ‘The best birthday gift ever’ for himself.

Starting the round eight shots off the pace, Sharma traded three birdies against three bogeys to trail leaders Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele by 11 shots on two-over-par 215 total in the world’s oldest Major championship.

Shubhankar said, "It was a great day. I would like to have played better than I did but I am very happy that I am playing the round today. I did my best yesterday to try and make it to the weekend. I thought I played pretty well. I just didn’t make enough putts. Even though I made the birdie on the second which was a good start, I couldn’t really capitalize on it. But that’s alright. That’s golf. I am happy with the way that I am playing, My hitting was better, much better than the previous days so if I can keep hitting the ball the way I did today and putt a little bit better, tomorrow should be alright.

"I was hitting it good in the first six holes. I hit it pretty close. I was just hoping to make one more in the first six holes. The conditions were very good today. There was no wind at all compared to the first two days. I think I just didn’t make enough putts. It’s all part of the game. I am very happy with the way I finished. Could’ve been better if I made that birdie putt on the last but it’s alright. It’s pretty tough to read the greens. There are some very subtle slopes out there which are tough to see.

"I felt like I putted well on the first three holes but after that, my stroke wasn’t too good. But I regain it after the 14th hole.  The stroke wasn’t consistent enough. I think that is important if you want to make putts here. You can’t really miss it much. You got to hit where the line is. The pins were pretty easy compared to the last two rounds. They were pretty accessible. It was pretty easy as you can see Justin (Rose) shot a 64 today. 

"I have shot low rounds in the final round before. I think I just need to get the feel in my putting. If I can start dropping putts, I should be able to cap a low round. I just need that feel. Today I miss a few and lost a bit of confidence. This is the best birthday present for myself, playing in The Open and the weather was perfect today. This is the best way I could’ve spent my birthday. I received a lot of well wishes. I woke up and saw a lot of messages on my phone but I couldn’t see all of them yet.
"Saw a few posts on social media as well. It was very nice. I couldn’t really answer to anyone this morning because I had to prepare for my round today but I am really happy to receive all the support that I’ve got. I will go practise later, try and get my putter going and then just relax and have dinner tonight."
Source: Asian Tour

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