At 27 years old, he equaled his season’s best result, following his tied-eighth place finish at The Open Championship in July.
Shubhankar Sharma had to make a final birdie putt of just over five feet to get to tied second in the Irish Open golf tournament on Sunday. But the attempt agonisingly stopped one foot short, leaving him with a par and a tied seventh spot in the DP World Tour event.
Sharma’s one-under 71 in the final round (65, 66, 75, 71) equaled his season’s best
A fighting final round of one-under 71 by Sharma (65, 66, 75, 71) matched his best finish of the season, at 11-under for the tournament. The other top-10 finishes for the 27-year-old Indian, who was joint-leader at the halfway mark at the Kildare course, was in July at The Open Championship, where he finished brilliantly in brutal weather to be tied-8, and a T-7 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January.
Tied fourth overnight, Sharma had four birdies while he dropped three shots. It had started ominously with a double bogey on the first hole, but to his credit the Indian golfer recovered well to finish closer to the top.
Sweden’s Vincent Norman shot a brilliant seven-under, bogey-free, 65 final round to snatch the title, finishing at 14-under par after starting the day 20 spots down. Ireland’s Shane Lowry, a former Open winner, shot a four-under 68 to finish tied second at 12-under.
At the par-4 opening hole, Sharma’s second shot found greenside rough as he ended up with the double bogey. But he bounced back with birdies on the second and the par-5 fourth hole, where he hit to one foot of the pin from a greenside bunker.
He had to wait until the par-5 10th for his third birdie to get into red numbers. Off the tee, he found the fairway rough to the right and then had to take a circuitous route, but the second shot found the green and he sank a 24-foot birdie putt.
A birdie on the par-3 14th lifted him up a leaderboard where he had led on the first day. He was tied third with two holes to play, and only two shots off the lead as most of the field found the going challenging. That included world No.2 Rory McIlroy, who had promised a solid run after a strong finish overnight, only to slip up late.
But the 17th hole, a 422-yard par-4 which Sharma birdied on the first and third rounds but bogeyed on the second day, set him back. He found the rough adjacent to the fairway off the tee and could not reach the green from there, finishing with a three-foot putt for bogey. It dropped him from tied third to tied seventh. The final hole presented a great birdie opportunity after he reached the green in two, only for the final blip.
Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service.