Shubhankar Sharma shares lead at Irish Open
Shubhankar Sharma dropped a late bogey after a splendid front nine to shoot 6-under 66 and grab the joint lead at the Horizon Irish Open. Sharma shared the lead with Jordan Smith, who seemed to be moving into a sole lead before he had a double bogey on the challenging 17th hole.
Smith closed with a birdie for a seven-under 65 and he was also 13-under on the Palmer North Course at the K Club.
The star-studded field includes Rory McIlroy (69-70) in T-26th place and Shane Lowry (68-68) is T-9.
Things did not go too well for the other India’s Manu Gandas (73-78) as he missed the cut by a big margin.
Veer Ahlawat drops to 81 in Korea
Veer Ahlawat, the only Indian to make the cut in the Shinhan Donghae Open, crashed to a round of 79 and dropped to 81st on the leader board after three days.
Ahlawat, who was tied-23 after two rounds, had five bogeys and a double bogey and no birdies in a disappointing round.
Former champion Richard T Lee and South Korea’s Guntaek Koh, in form with two domestic wins this year, staked their claim for the Shinhan Donghae Open on Friday after taking a share of the third-round lead.
Lee, the winner in 2017 at a different venue, fired a five-under-par 67 and Koh a 66 to lead the way on 15-under-par on the Ocean Course at Club72, which is located near the Incheon International Airport.
The overnight leader Wooyoung Cho (71), Korea’s amateur star, compatriot Taehoon Ok (67) and Australia’s Anthony Quayle (67) are one back in an event which has been tri-sanctioned by the Asian, Japan and Korean Tours.
Quayle had looked set to finish in front by one but double-bogeyed the par-five 18th.
Japan’s Ryuko Tokimatsu (66) and Spaniard David Puig (68) are another stroke back.
Rayhan Thomas to lead Indian team in Asia-Pacific Amateur meet
Rayhan Thomas, who came agonisingly close to winning the biggest prize for an amateur golfer in the Asia-Pacific in 2018, will be back for another shot at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
Thomas, who turns 24 in December this year, will lead a seven-member Indian squad for the 2023 edition of the AAC at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club from October 26-29.
His teammates are Kartik Singh, Shaurya Bhattacharya, Raghav Chugh, Krishnav Nikhil Chopra, Vedant Sirohi and Yuvraj Singh. Four of the Indians have been playing college golf in the US and the rest have considerable international experience.
Thomas, Chugh, Chopra and Sirohi have been playing college golf in the US. The other players have been playing well on the domestic Indian Golf Union circuit and risen in world rankings.
Thomas, Bhattacharya and Chopra were also part of the Indian team in Chonburi last year. Thomas, who played four times in a row from 2016 to 2019 and then returned to the team in 2022, will be making a sixth appearance.
Sumit Nagal beats the top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Sumit Nagal beat the top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 7-6(6), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the €118,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Tulln, Austria.
In the $259,303 WTA event in Osaka, Japan, third seed Ankita Raina beat the wild card entrant Yuki Naito 6-3, 7-5 in the first qualifying round. She will play Kateryna Volodko of Ukraine in the second and final round.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Manish Kaushik and Manju Rani enter the finals at the 21st Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial Tournament
2019 World Championship silver medalist Manju Rani and 2019 World Championship bronze medalist Manish Kaushik stormed into the finals with identical unanimous wins on Friday at the 21st Mustafa Hajrulahovic Memorial tournament in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Manish (63kg) started the day for India against Afghanistan’s Mohammad Sarwari. Manish used his experience and was at his attacking best throughout the three rounds to outplay his opponent en route to the 5-0 victory.
Manish will now be up against Palestine’s Mohammed Soud in the finals.
Manju Rani (50kg) showed a similar display of domination when she stepped into the ring against Petra Mezei of Hungary. Manju, with her quick moment and powerful punches, proved to be too strong for the opponent as she sailed through to the finals with a convincing 5-0 win.
She will now face Sadia Bromand of Afghanistan in her quest to secure the gold medal.
Manju Rani (50kg), Barun Singh Shagolshem (51kg), Vinakshi (57kg), Akash Kumar (57kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Naveen Kumar (92kg) will be in action later today for their finals bout.
Tata Steel Chess: Grischuk outsmarts young guns to lift blitz title
Blitz chess is a frantic race against the clock. Alexander Grischuk turned it back in some style in front of a big audience at the National Library on Saturday, the final day of the Tata Steel Chess India tournament.
At 39, he was the oldest in the field, in which half the competitors were younger than 21. But then, the Russian is a three-time world champion in this format.
All that experience came in handy, as Grischuk, seeded fifth, finished as the outright winner of the open blitz event. To clinch the title, all he needed was a draw in the final round against the second oldest player in the field – Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan.
The duo settled for an express draw. That meant the best R. Praggnanandhaa, who had begun the day as the sole leader, could hope for was the runner-up spot. He didn’t even get that.
He drew with Arjun Erigaisi and finished with 11 points. Uzbekistan’s Abdusattorov’s victory against Vidit Gujrathi took him to 11 points, but on account of his superior tie-breaker score, he took second place. Praggnanandhaa was placed third, just as he was in the rapid section a couple of days earlier.
The World Cup finalist had met Grischuk in the 15th round, and that game was going to be crucial for both. It was won by the Russian with the black pieces.
Praggnanandhaa was still the pick of the Indian players by a fair distance, but he didn’t quite live up to the huge expectations.
-P. K. Ajith Kumar
Asian junior chess: Pragnya holds top seed in girls’ section
Top seed Nazerke Nurgali of Kazakhstan was held to a draw by H.G. Pragnya, the Indian rated some 644 Elo points below, in the opening round of the Tata Steel Asian junior girls’ chess championship on Saturday.
The day also saw Swara Lakshmi S. Nair upsetting fourth seed Mrudul Dehankar, Keerti Reddy shocking sixth seed Zeinep Sultanbek of Uzbekistan, and A. Charvi stunning eighth seed eighth-seed Walijah Ahmed of Bangladesh.
There was no such excitement on the top boards in the open section, with seeds posting wins.
Important results (first round, Indians unless specified):
Open: Aleksey Grebnev (FIDE) bt Arjun Adireddy; Yash Bharadia lost to L.R. Srihari; Rohith S. Krishna bt Vrashank Chouhan; Vivaan Shah lost to Arun Daakshin; N.B. Hari Madhavan bt Mukund Agarwal; Md. Reyan lost to Kushagra Mohan; Dilshan Liyanage bt Kartik Kumar Singh; Manas Gaikwad lost to G.B. Harivardhan; Sambit Panda bt S. Rohit; Aaryan Singla lost to Manish Cristiano.
Girls: Nazerke Nurgali (Kaz) drew with H.G. Pragnya; Disha Patil lost to Saina Salonika; Bommini Mounika Akshaya bt Dhanashree Khairmode; Swara Lakshmi S. Nair bt Mrudul Dehankar; Mrittika Mallick bt Masanam Divyabharathi; Keerti Reddy bt Zeinep Sultanbek (Kaz); L. Jyothsna drew with S. Pournami; A. Charvi bt Walija Ahmed (Ban); Ayaulym Kaldarova (Kaz) lost to Divya Patil; Arya Mallar lost to V. Rindhya.
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