Shubhankar Sharma rises to tied-13th at ASI Scottish Open

India's Shubhankar Sharma produces four birdies in a row en route to a round of 4-under 67. He lies T-13th at the halfway mark.

Shubhankar Sharma ensured four birdies from 14th to the 17th holes. - GETTY IMAGES (FILE)

India’s Shubhankar Sharma produced four birdies in a row in the second round to rise to tied 13th at the ASI Scottish Open on Friday. He carded a 4-under 67, which is only his third round in the 60s this entire year.

Friday’s round at the challenging Renaissance Club included an eagle, five birdies and an eagle that took his 36-hole total to 5-under.

The other Indian challenger, Gaganjeet Bhullar, missed his second straight cut as he shot 77-73.

FIRST ROUND REPORT

Australian Lucas Herbert made the most of early favourable conditions to take a one-shot lead into the weekend. He added 65 to his opening 66 to lead at 11-under par as he bids for his second European Tour title in 2020.

Englishman Robert Rock (65-67) sits one shot off the pace, with his countrymen Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter (67-66) and two-time Rolex Series winner Lee Westwood (62-71) forming the chasing pack. Some well-known names missing the cut were 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, Justin Harding, Martin Kaymer, Sam Horsefield, Graeme McDowell, Thomas Pieters and last week’s winner John Catlin and Jazz Janewattananond.

Sharma began with a bogey on 10th, but made amends with an eagle as he hit driver and 4-Iron to 25 feet and holed it on Par-5 16th. On his second nine, the back stretch of the course, he had five birdies, including one with a 20-footer on eighth, which was his fourth in a row.

'A pretty good day'

Sharma said, “I hit my irons well and except for a couple of long ones, I hit it close to get the birdies.”

Sharma dropped a shot with what he himself described as a “silly” bogey on fourth. Four birdies from 14th to 17th ensured a good solid position to make a charge over the weekend.

A pleased Sharma added, “I had a pretty good day today and was pretty happy with the way I played, especially to make those (four) birdies towards the end. I had a silly bogey on fourth, which was my 13th. Earlier I started the round with a bogey on 10th.”

“To be honest I have been playing well for the past few weeks but the scores haven’t been great. I’ve been feeling very good since last week. Sure, the Irish Open was a very tough but we also got a few bad breaks.”

Among other Asian Tour members in the field, Kalle Samooja (65-70) was T-6, Li Haotong (68-70) and Masahiro Kawamura (69-69) were T-19, Lee Min Woo (66-74) was T-41st while Wu Ashun (70-70), Wang Jeunghun (73-68) and Scott Hend (71-70) were T-53rd.