Indian Golf Wrap: Sharma fights hard at ASI Scottish Open, Aditi finds form at Marathon Classic

Earlier at the Renaissance Golf Club, SSP Chawrasia (70-71) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (77-73) finished way off the cut line and exited early.

Shubhankar Sharma, after a first round even par 71, was three-under the front nine, in the second round. (FILE PHOTO)

Shubhankar Sharma, after a first round even par 71, was three-under the front nine, in the second round. (FILE PHOTO)   -  Getty Images

Shubhankar Sharma worked hard to make up for the first day’s modest even par card with four birdies in the first 12 holes as his continued to work towards the cut line at the low scoring ASI Scottish Open on Friday. Meanwhile, in the 10th leg of the the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, Amandeep Drall grabbed her first title of the season, emerging a comfortable four-shot winner with a final round of 71.

At Sylvania in Ohio, Aditi Ashok finally began to find some form as she carded a four-under 67 in the first round of the Marathon Classic to lie Tied-11th after the first day. Arjun Atwal missed a couple of short putts, at the John Deere Classic in Illinois, but still managed to shoot two-under 69, giving himself a chance to get into the weekend action.

Sharma fights hard to make cut and play weekend

Sharma was four-under with six holes left and was Tied-75th, needing at least two birdies more to make it safe as the cut go to five or even six-under.

Earlier at the Renaissance Golf Club, SSP Chawrasia (70-71) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (77-73) finished way off the cut line and exited early.

Sharma, after a first round even par 71, was three-under the front nine, in the second round. He birdied the third, sixth and the eighth on the front nine. He added one more on 11th with a good 10-footer birdie putt.

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Sharma is the only Indian qualified for The Open next week and a cut this week will be an added boost for the young Indian who will turn 23 on Sunday.

Last year, he made the cut on his birthday and smiled when reminded of that.

“It was a nice feeling,” he added.

Amandeep grabs first win of 2019

Amandeep's last win was in the 11th leg of the 2018 season, which was 16 starts back.

Amandeep, whose previous best this season was second at both the second and third legs, has also been at least Tied-third on four other occasions. The win this week, therefore, comes as a big relief to the consistent Kapurthala golfer, who is the sixth different winner in 10 events this season.

On a day when none of the players broke par at the Par-70 layout, Amandeep had two birdies on the second and 16th and three bogeys, while Gaurika Bishnoi, who also shot 71, leapfrogged from Tied-sixth to second as the rest faltered.

Gursimar Badwal, the first round co-leader with Amandeep, was expected to provide the strongest challenge but fizzled away with three bogeys on the back nine after a double bogey, bogey and two birdies on the front nine.

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She finished with a round of four-over 74 and ended third.

Gaurika showed that she is fast achieving a high level of consistency. Having won twice this season, she finished runner-up for the third time. She has also been third twice.

Afshan Fatima had a roller-coaster of a round with a double and three bogeys in the first four holes to be five-over after four. She then birdied three times in the next four holes to turn in two-over.

On the back nine, she birdied twice on 12th and 17th, but double bogeyed the 18th for a 2-over 72 and a Tied-fourth place finish with Sonam Chugh (73) and Ananya Datar (74).

Ananya was four-over after the first five holes, but did well to recover with three birdies and may well have finished much higher but for a triple bogey on the Par-5 17th.

Neha Tripathi (73), Ridhima Dilawari (75) and Gurjot Badwal (75), in her first outing as a professional, were Tied-seventh. Gauri Karhade, who was one of the three players to shoot the day’s best score of 71, was tenth.

Gaurika continued to lead the Hero Order of Merit with Rs. 8,61,800, while Neha is second with earnings of Rs. 7,69,133 and Amandeep rose to third with Rs. 7,64,333. Gursimar and Ridhima are fifth and sixth.

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The winners this season are Ridhima, who has won thrice, Gaurika and Tvesa Malik twice each while Neha, Gursimar and now Amandeep Drall have won once each.

The 11th leg of the Hero WPG Tour will be played at the Hyderabad Golf Club from August 7.

Solid start for Aditi with four-under 67

Aditi, who finished tied-eighth in the same event in 2017, had five birdies against just one bogey. It was her seventh score in the 60s in last eight rounds and augurs well for her form on the eve of the upcoming Majors.

She started birdie-birdie on first and second and added a third on ninth to turn in three-under. She dropped her only shot on the 11th but closed with a flourish as she birdied both 17th and 18th for a day’s work of 67.

She is only three shots behind the leaders, Alena Sharp of Canada and Youngin Chun of South Korea. Aditi is Tied-11th with eight others.

Atwal misses chances but shoots two-under; Lahiri way back

Atwal, who finished T-23 after coming through a Monday qualifier last week, is Tied-56th, but his colleague Anirban Lahiri continued to struggle.

Lahiri shot three-over with three bogey, two of them on Par-5s, and no birdies in his three-over 74. With the cut likely at two-under, Lahiri needs a low second round. Daniel Chopra shot one-under 70.

Lahiri managed only half of the greens in regulation and missed some putts inside 10 feet. He also did not get close enough to have chances on some others. He had bogeys on sixth, 10th and 17th.

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Atwal started on the tenth and had an eventful first nine. After missing a 12-footer for birdie on first, he birdied second with a nice second shot to inside seven feet.

On the 13th, he bogeyed after missing the green and then missed 4-footer for par on 13th. On the Par-5 15th, he went from left greenside bunker to right front greenside bunker and missed an up-and-down for a double at which stage he was two-over after six. However, he rallied with three birdies in a row and turned in one-under.

On the second nine, a nice chip on first from 36 feet to 3 feet set up a birdie and he followed that up with an excellent second shot to four feet on fifth for another birdie. He missed an eight-footer for birdie on 8th and dropped a shot on ninth going from left rough to right rough.

Chopra had four birdies, one double on 10th and two bogeys and he was T-78th.

(With inputs from PTI)