Shubhankar stumbles on back nine; but stays in race for title

Shubhankar Sharma stayed in contention despite a nightmarish back nine, which included a triple and a double, as he hung onto the second place after the third round of the USD 300,000 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open here today.

Shubhankar Sharma in action during the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open.   -  AFP

Shubhankar Sharma stayed in contention despite a nightmarish back nine, which included a triple and a double, as he hung onto the second place after the third round of the USD 300,000 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open here today.

He shot one-over 72 and stood four strokes behind overnight leader, Jazz Janewattananond. Both Jazz and Shubhankar are looking for a breakthrough Asian Tour victory at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

Shubhankar tried to shrug aside the struggles of back nine as he said, “It was a really interesting round. I had a superb start but fell back on the back nine. Other than that, I think I still played pretty well. I am still swinging the ball good.

“I just need to putt slightly better tomorrow and avoid making as many mistakes as I did today. I wasn’t thinking much really. I started well and I told myself to keep making birdies on the back nine.

“The dropped shots were costly but I am still in a good position for tomorrow, although I would have liked the gap to be closer. It’s not over yet. I still have another round so I will do my best.”

Indians had a strong presence on the leaderboard as Chiragh Kumar (68) was Tied-fifth and Udayan Mane (68) moved up to Tied-eighth.

Rashid Khan (70) and Khalin Joshi (71) were Tied-15th and M Dharma (69) was Tied-31st at one-over 214, Mukesh (71) was Tied-41st and Honey Baisoya (73) was Tied-47th while Jeev Milkha Singh (73) was Tied-56th and Sujjan Singh (78) was Tied-68th.

The 20-year-old Indian was leading the field by two after being three-under for the front nine as Jazz was even par. But he had triple bogey on 11th but quickly made some ground with birdies on 13th and 14th.

However, he again gave away a bogey on 16th and a double bogey on 17th to end at 72.

Jazz, meanwhile, calmly slotted two birdies against no bogey on back nine to take a big lead.

Home hero Siddikur Rahman kept up the local cheers as he returned with a 68 to trail by five shots in third place with playing partner Dodge Kemmer of the United States, who also signed for a 68, in the full-field Asian Tour event.