Dubai Desert Classic: Sharma drops terrible triple after 4-under first nine, cards 72

For a little over two hours, Shubhankar Sharma carried on from where he had left last week as he racked up four birdies on his first nine, which was the back nine of Emirates Golf Club, on the first day of Dubai Desert Classic.

Sharma managed to stem the rot with a string of pars, but then again, on the eighth, his penultimate hole, he hit right into the bushes and ended with an even par 72 and was placed tied 57th.   -  AP

For a little over two hours, Shubhankar Sharma carried on from where he had left last week as he racked up four birdies on his first nine, which was the back nine of Emirates Golf Club, on the first day of Dubai Desert Classic.

Turning in 4-under, he seemed set for a low number when the disaster struck. He hit his tee shot on the first out of bounds, then he found the rough and went on to pile up a seven on the hole for triple bogey.

He did manage to stem the rot with a string of pars, but then again, on the eighth, his penultimate hole, he hit right into the bushes. He ended with an even par 72 and was placed tied 57th.

Joachim Hansen managed to finish despite the fading light which forced suspension of play before all players could finish. He led the field at 7-under 65 and one shot behind him with one hole to play was South African Justin Harding.

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There was a huge bunch of players including some big names like Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood besides Thongchai Jaidee, Pablo Larrazabal and Andrea Pavan, who seemed to find his form of late. Fabrizio Zanotti was also at 5-under but had one more hole to go.

Colling Morikawa, who finished in a tie for 62nd at last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, showed that his range sessions had worked as he shot 4-under 68. The round included a run of four birdies from 15th to 18th on the back nine of the course, which was his first nine.

Also shooting 4-under 68 was Viktor Hovland and Kiradech Aphibarnrat while Lee Westwood, who has 10 Top-10s in Dubai, was 3-under 69 with Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Wallace.

Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Bernd Wiesberger were all tied 46th at 1-under 71.

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