Sharma shares lead after challenging day three in India


Hero Indian Open champion Matt Wallace today showered accolades on rising Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma, saying he has the game and temperament to go a long way.

The 21-year-old Shubhankar dropped five shots, including a double bogey at the 17th hole.

Wallace, who shared the lead along with home favourite Shubhankar Sharma after the penultimate round, carded a four-under 68 at the DLF Golf and Country Club to soar to the top on 11-under.

The birdie on the 10th was offset by an immediate bogey.

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher is a shot behind the leading duo after an impressive round that saw him hit five birdies and an eagle to card a five-under 67.

Argentine Emiliano Grillo, who had an overnight four-stroke lead at the top over Shubhankar, had a day to forget as he signed for a six-over 78.

As the day progressed Shubhankar struggled to a three-over 75 to finish tied 7th, while the Englishman shot four-under 68 in regulation play and then overcame compatriot Andrew Johnston in the play-off to win his second European Tour title. He is in tied-seven and just three shots behind the leaders along with Spain's Pablo Larrazabal.

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Anirban Lahiri (75), the 2015 victor and three-time champion Jyoti Randhawa (76) tied 32nd at four-over, while Khalin Joshi scored a poor 81 to stay tied 37.

"The wind was gusting around in different directions but I'm pretty happy with my score", added a relived Wallace.

On a day when just nine players fired under-par rounds, Wallace's two-under effort moved him to seven under and a position to continue his rapid rise through the ranks. "I've done it at a lower level (Wallace won six times in a season on the subsidiary Alps Tour) but what Shubhankar has achieved in the past few months is inspirational", he said. It was a mixed bag as everything happened. "I was swinging it that good", he said. "I had a few birdies today but there were just too many bogeys for my liking".

Wallace, who had found himself three over through eight holes of his opening round, told "I'm ecstatic".

For third-round co-leader Shubhankar Sharma, it was meltdown time for the second successive Sunday.

"I am very pleased with the birdie at the last, which allowed me to grab a share of the lead. I know it's going to be a battle out there tomorrow and I'll be ready for it".

Other Indians: 293 - Jyoti Randhawa (72, 72, 76, 73), Kshitij Naveed Kaul (70, 76, 77, 70); 294 - Anirban Lahiri (72, 73, 75, 74); 295 - Khalin Joshi (72, 68, 81, 74), Ajeetesh Sandhu (68, 76, 74, 77); 297 - Karandeep Kochhar (75, 72, 76, 74); 299 - Udayan Mane (72, 75, 79, 73).