India’s Shubhankar Sharma finally registered a modest round against his name as he carded an even par 72 in the third round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions on Saturday.
Sharma, who was 80-80 for the first two days, opened superbly from the 10th with three birdies in first five holes, but then assumed a shaky form.
He dropped a double on 15th and then had back-to-back birdies on second and third. Then again, he lapsed with three bogeys in last four holes for a 72. He is presently 76th out of the 77 left in the tournament.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (81) had a disappointing day too. He was fine for the front nine with one birdie and one bogey, but on the back nine he had five bogeys and two doubles.
Meanwhile, Tony Finau had a stunning finish by being the only player to birdie last three holes as he raced to a three-shot lead.
Finau was two-over through 12, but birdied 13th and then had three in a row from 16th.
Defending champion Justin Rose (70), seeking to become the only player other than Tiger Woods to defend a World Golf Championships title, returned with a 70 to share second place with Americans Patrick Reed (70) and Xander Schauffele (69).
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded two-under-par 70 to sit at tied seventh. While a maiden WGC win at the Sheshan International Golf Club is still within sights, the Thai preferred to play down expectations and just focus on getting off to a fast start so that he can chase Finau down on the final day.
Like Kiradech, Finau is also eyeing his breakthrough at a WGC event.
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