Liverpool, England, 21-07-2023

Shubhankar Sharma rises to tied fourth with a tenacious 71 in round two of The Open

Shubhankar Sharma displayed great tenacity during his second round of even-par 71 to rise three spots to tied fourth position at three-under 139 at the 151st Open Championship being played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

Sharma, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Friday, 21st July, made three birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey to find himelf in contention going into the weekend. He trails the leader Brian Harman of the United States (10-under 132) by seven shots.

England's Tommy Fleetwood is placed second at a total of five-under while Austrian Sepp Straka is a futher shot back in third place.

Shubhankar, currently ranked 276th in the world, shares the fourth spot with the Australian duo of Min Woo Lee and Jason Day.

Sharma scrambled well on a tough and windy day to hang in there and keep himself in the mix. He managed to get out of some tough spots for the second day in succession.

After enduring the winds to make pars on the first six holes, Shubhankar missed the green on the seventh. However, he rolled it in from a distance of about 50 feet from off the green for his first birdie of the day.

His first setback of the day was the bogey on the eighth where he once again missed the green and then narrowly missed his par putt from eight feet.

After a quiet stretch on the back-nine, Sharma drained a 12-footer for birdie on the 15th. Thereafter, his first two shots on the par-3 17th were off-target thus resulting in a disappointing double-bogey.

Shubhankar however roared back with a birdie on the closing par-5 18th where he produced a terrific chip shot to leave himself a four feet conversion.

Sharma said, "I'm very happy. In fact, I was seeing the scores, and when I teed off the first two, three holes, I saw the wind was definitely a lot more than what we played yesterday. I told myself a level-par round would not be a bad round today.

"Obviously I didn't want that 17 thing to happen and finish level par like that, but if I look at it as a whole, I'm quite happy. 

"Level par is good. Still in it. Still two more good days to go hopefully, and I'll be good.

"Until the time it's the back nine on Sunday, your position really doesn't matter. I'm happy that I'm in and around the top ten mark.

"Now it's just how I play the next two days, and we'll see."

Despite having limited experience of playing links golf as a youngster, Sharma revealed he is a big fan, saying, "I've always loved links golf. 

"Even though I've not played it much growing up, but just watching it on TV, watching The Open and the different shots that you can play and be creative, yeah, it's definitely up my alley.

"I really like it, even when I was here three weeks ago playing practice rounds I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun."

The best Indian finish at The Open is Jyoti Randhawa's tied 27th place achieved in 2004 at Royal Troon.

Source: DP World Tour

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