Hero Cup 2020: Shubhankar Sharma bows out; Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, Sam Horsfield share halfway lead on European Tour – Sports News , Firstpost

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Shubhankar Sharma, who shot 73 in the first round, seemed to have put himself way off the cut line with three bogeys on the trot around the turn as he dropped shots on ninth, 10th and 11th holes at which point he was four-over for the tournament.

Birmingham: India’s Shubhankar Sharma tried hard but could not make the cut at the Hero Open, missing out on weekend action in his first start since the return of competitive golf on the European Tour.

The 24-year-old, who shot 73 in the first round, seemed to have put himself way off the cut line with three bogeys on the trot around the turn as he dropped shots on ninth, 10th and 11th holes at which point he was four-over for the tournament.

The cut looked likely at two-under.

Sharma produced four birdies, three in a row from 12th to 14th and one more on 17th, but failed to get any more and missed out.

FIle image of Shubhankar Sharma. AFP

Overnight leader Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez of Spain held off a spirited challenge from England’s Sam Horsfield to retain a share of the lead at the Hero Open at the halfway mark of the European Tour’s latest stop in England.

Sharma said, “I gave it all and played the last seven holes very well. But it was probably a case too much to cover up. My real game showed up on that back stretch, but I had too much of a gap to make up.

“After three birdies, I did think of an eagle on par-5 17th, but the second shot, a 6-Iron came to the edge and I only managed a birdie.”

He added, “It was also windy and not calm like earlier in the day.”

“The two holes, tenth and 11th cost me heavily. I dropped five shots over two days on those two holes. In the second round I had a three-putt on one and another one I hit to the left and did not make an up-and-down.”

“On the 18th, a challenging par-3 and I did find the green, but it was way off almost 50 feet.”

As for the first week in the UK and competition after a long lay-off due to the pandemic, Sharma said the “game seemed okay”.

“… but some fine-tuning and it should be fine again. We all stay in a bubble and I will be here till Sunday and practice here while others battle it out for Hero Open. Then we (caddie Gurbaaz and I) drive to Hertfordshire, where we will be tested again.

“There are the usual nasal and throat swabs and we wait for 3-4 hours before we get the results and then get to the course. The safety arrangements have been good, so no tension.”

After setting a course record 10-under 62 in the opening round at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, Garcia Rodriguez cooled somewhat in the second with a 3-under 69 that included birdies on the last two holes.

“The key yesterday was the putter, today it was difficult with the irons to get it pin high because it was so windy, but I’m so happy with my round today,” said Garcia Rodriguez. “It was very important to birdie the last two holes. It was in my mind to hit a good drive on 17, it wasn’t perfect but a good line. I had an eagle in my mind with an eight iron in my hand, but it was a little right so it was a good birdie.”

Horsfield, meanwhile, completed a sparkling 9-under 63 that included an eagle and seven birdies for a share of the lead with Garcia Rodriguez at 13 under.

“Holing a wedge from 110 yards on four (for an eagle) was an obvious highlight and I just got on a bit of a roll and ended up with a 9 under round,” said Horsfield who has yet to win on the tour. “I’m just having fun, it’s nice to be playing tournament golf again, it’s been a while for everyone and I’m just thankful of that, to get some tournaments going. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while and I’m just enjoying it.”

Thomas Detry was third after a 5-under 67 that matched his first-round score and leaves him three shots back of the leaders on 10-under.

Alexander Bjork of Sweden and Antoine Rozner of France share fourth place another stroke back after both shot 67s.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, making his record 707th European Tour appearance, shot an even-par 72 for a five-way share of sixth place on 8 under.

With inputs from Agencies

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