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The Hindu
The Hindu

Shubhankar Sharma stays in top-10 at Open

Going toe-to-toe with the best in the world, Shubhankar Sharma continued to stay in the top-10 at the Major he grew up watching on television in faraway India.

Sharma, who turned 27 on Friday, while moving into the tied-fourth place at the 151st Open, was still in the vicinity at 4-under through 36 holes. He was tied ninth, the third successive day he was in the top-10 of a Major.

Landing an eagle from 36 feet besides picking 14 pars in the first 15 holes, Sharma stayed patient and out of trouble and when he did get into it he came out well enough for pars.

That was until he ran into a 10-footer, which scraped the edge and moved away for a bogey. He came close to making amends on the 17th with a great tee shot, but again his birdie putt from some 12 feet went just past the cup.

On the 18th, he went into the rough, but reached the green in three and then two-putted for par.

Sharma has now played rounds of 68-71-70 for a total of 3-under 209.

Even though the man of the day was Jon Rahm, who set a new course record with 8-under 63 with eight birdies and no bogeys, southpaw Brian Harman, who lists hunting on his 1,000-acre farm as his passion, dropped two early shots to fall two 8-under.

He not only got them back on the front nine itself but added two more on the 12th and 13th to get to 12-under and stay five shots off the field.

Harman shot 2-under 69 and was 12-under and five shots clear of Cameron Young and six ahead of Jon Rahm, a two-time Major winner. Harman is yet to win a Major, though he led after three rounds at the 2017 U.S. Open.

Right behind him was Cameron Young, the runner-up at St. Andrews last year. Young, still looking for his first win shot 5-under 66 and got to 7-under and was one ahead of Rahm.

Sepp Straka (70), who took an injured Tiger Woods' place at the latter's World Challenge late last and has since won a PGA Tour title, too, rose with a steady round and was 5-under in tied fourth.

Straka was tied with Jason Day, former world No. 1 and Sharma's playing partner on the third day, besides Viktor Hovland, Antoine Rozner and Tommy Fleetwood (71). They were all at 5-under for three days.

The moving day belonged to the Spaniard, Rahm, who started the Major season of 2023 by taking the Green Jacket and is now looking for the Claret Jug.

Rahm went around the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in a record eight-under 63 as he played a near-perfect game. Driving well, he drilled his irons perfectly and then putted from all over.

Sharma showed a lot of patience on a day when scores were lower than other days. Sharma was steady, even though some birdie putts did not fall but on other occasions he made some good par saves.

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