Abu Dhabi, Jan 21: India’s Shubhankar Sharma overcame blustery winds to be 1-under through 15 holes when play was called off at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Friday.
Sharma, who shot 2-under 70 on the first day is now 3-under for 33 holes and T-14 provisionally. He was four shots behind leader Scott Jamieson who maintained his one-shot lead at the halfway stage.
Among the many players in pursuit are Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter, Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters.
Lowry was joined by Pieters, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya and Swede Alexander Björk on five under par, two shots off the lead.
The strong winds played havoc at Yas Links but Jamieson remained steady and composed as he battled to a two over par 74 to enter the weekend on a seven under leading total.
So tough were the conditions that the defending Champion Tyrrell Hatton’s five over 77 left him six shots back on a one under total, while four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy had to hole a nerve-jangling birdie putt on the final hole to leave himself in with a chance to make the weekend.
He sits right on the cut line on three over, with round two to be completed on Saturday morning.
Sharma was actually inside the Top-10 at 4-under through 14 holes with four birdies against two bogeys. With conditions being and darkness setting in, Sharma dropped a late bogey on 15 and will play his remaining three holes on Saturday.
On a day which yielded only nine sub-par rounds, Poulter’s level 72 was all the more impressive and the Englishman sat in a share of second place on six under, alongside his recent Ryder Cup team-mate Hovland who signed for a 74.
James Morrison, meanwhile, was level par through 14 holes and on a six under total before play was suspended overnight due to darkness. (PTI)