Sharma makes cut after being on knife edge at Celtic Classic

Sharma, who had missed the cut in his last two outings on the ongoing UK Swing, carded one-under 70 for a total of one-under 141 to make the cut on the line.

Shubhankar Sharma of India plays his tee shot on the sixth hole during day two of the Celtic Classic at the Celtic Manor Resort.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India’s ace golfer Shubhankar Sharma spent almost three hours on a knife edge before getting to know he had made the cut at the Celtic Classic in Newport.

Sharma, who had missed the cut in his last two outings on the ongoing UK Swing, carded one-under 70 for a total of one-under 141 to make the cut on the line. He is tied-65th.

The Indian, one-over through six holes for the second round, had a good run of three birdies in a row around the turn from ninth to 11th to get to two-under for the tournament.

A dropped shot on 15th meant he was on the bubble. He saved pars on the closing stretch.

Sharma said, “The conditions were not too easy early on but I thought the cut would be one-under and I am glad I was right.

“Oh, yes, it could have been a disappointment if any of the guys (at one-under) and playing behind me had birdied towards the end. But I suppose everyone was being careful.”

He added, “It was somewhat windy and drizzling on the front nine, but it was better as we were halfway through the round.”

With a laugh, he admitted, “It was more tense waiting for others to finish than when I was playing. Now that I am in for the weekend, the focus is on getting a couple of good low rounds. There are birdies to be made and I have to go and get them.”

Sharma began well with a birdie on second, but bogeys on fourth and sixth meant he needed a solid back nine. A birdie on ninth set the tone as he reeled off three in a row on ninth, 10th and 11th. A dropped shot on 15th made things tense, but he survived it.

A late birdie from any of the three players, including last week’s winner Andy Sullivan, Alexander Bjork or Adri Arnaus could have knocked out Sharma.

Sullivan, who double bogeyed the 16th to drop to one-under, parred last two; Bjork, who rallied with birdies on 14th and 15th, parred the last three and Arnaus, at one-under, parred the last four.

Meanwhile, Englishman Sam Horsfield, 23, who won his maiden European Tour title at the Hero Open during the second leg of the six-week UK Swing, moved into contention with the help of four successive birdies around the turn. It could have been even better but for a late triple bogey.

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