Garcia Rodriguez stays ahead; Shubhankar Sharma battles in vain

Shubhankar Sharma made four birdies in six holes as he mounted a valiant effort to make the cut. Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez and Sam Horsfield share the lead at the halfway stage of the Hero Open. They are 13-under 131 through 36 holes.

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Shubhankar Sharma (GettyImages)

Birdies in the last two holes secured a 69 for Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez in the second round of the Hero Open at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club. At 13-under 131, the Spaniard retained a share of the lead as the European Tour continued its return to action. Shubhankar Sharma showed courage and character, battling to a 71, but at even par, he was on the wrong side of the projected cut line.

Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez – Getty Images – European Tour

The 31-year-old rookie from Spain built on an ambitious 62 from his opening round to stay atop the leaderboard, with Sam Horsfield. Unlike the opening round, where he coated his card with a couple of eagles, Garcia Rodriguez conceded bogeys at the 8th and 15th holes, but peppered his card with five birdies for a three-under score on Friday.

“Today the wind was tough, it was a lot windier and the pin positions were a little more complicated than yesterday. But today I played very solid from the tee which was the key to only two bogeys and keeping solid,” the Spaniard said.

“The yesterday was the putter, today it was difficult with the irons to get it pin high because it was so windy, but I’m so happy with my round today.

“It was very important to birdie the last two holes. It was in my mind to his a good drive on 17, it wasn’t perfect but a good line. I had an eagle in my mind with an eight iron in my hands, but it was a little right so it was a good birdie.

“On 18 I played a seven iron and it was a perfect putt. I need to do the same now, go to the players’ lounge, eat some food and hit the gym, then come out tomorrow for the same.”

Shubhankar suffered a massive blow midway through his round when he stumbled to three straight bogeys at the turn. But the Indian showed tremendous resolve in an attempt to climb out of the hole. After taking his fifth bogey of the round at the 11th, Shubhankar made three straight birdies and added another on the 17th. That helped him to a one-under 71 and even through 36 holes. The cut was projected to fall at 2-under 142.

Thomas Detry scored a second 67 to move to 10-under par at the end of his second round. Antoine Rozner in in T4 with Alexander Bjork, who is nine-under with scores of 68 and 67. Rozner also shot 67 on Friday.

“It was quite windy at the start and the greens firmed up a little bit but I was three under after six holes and I didn’t birdie the par five seventh, which is almost a par four for us, and then went bogey-bogey with actually some great shots,” Detry said.

So it was actually alright, I made a good birdie on 10 that got me going again and I got some momentum and managed to finish five under which I’m very pleased with.

I actually played great last week, I really struggled on the greens, I seemed to find something on the greens this week. I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways, the driver is acting well so I’m looking forward to the next few days.

Sam Horsfield – Getty Images – European Tour

With an eagle and seven birdies, Sam Horsfield produced a spectacular 63 to gain a share of the lead with Garcia Rodriguez.

“Holing a wedge from 110 yards on four was an obvious highlight! I just got on a bit of a roll, birdied the par five 12th, then holed a nice 20 footer on 15 and ended up with a nine under round,” said Horsfield.

“I was a little disappointed not to birdie the third, but then obviously to hole out eagle on four made up for that and set the day up. It was good fun.

“I’m just having fun, it’s nice to be playing tournament golf again, it’s been a while for everyone and I’m just thankful of that, to get some tournaments going. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while and I’m just enjoying it.

“It’s different out here, not the same as what we’re used to but it’s just the world that we’re living in at the moment and you’ve just got to make the most of. We have a great opportunity to come out here and play tournament golf and I’m thankful that the European Tour and everyone involved have been able to make that happen.

“It’s going to be fun. It’s been a minute since I’ve been in contention but looking back on my college days I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Miguel Angel Jimenez, playing in a record 707th European Tour event followed through an opening 64 with a more sedate 72 in the second round. At 8-under, he is tied with Alexander Levy, Matthieu Pavon and Mikko Korhonen.

Scores:

131 S GARCIA RODRIGUEZ (ESP) 62 69, S HORSFIELD (ENG) 68 63,
134 T DETRY (BEL) 67 67,
135 A BJ?RK (SWE) 68 67, A ROZNER (FRA) 68 67,
136 M JIM?NEZ (ESP) 64 72, O FARR (WAL) 65 71, A LEVY (FRA) 67 69, M KORHONEN (FIN) 67 69, M PAVON (FRA) 69 67,
137 R H?JGAARD (DEN) 66 71, W BESSELING (NED) 67 70, C SHINKWIN (ENG) 68 69, K SAMOOJA (FIN) 68 69, R RAMSAY (SCO) 69 68, G FORREST (SCO) 69 68, C SHARVIN (NIR) 70 67,
138 A CHESTERS (ENG) 66 72, J STALTER (FRA) 67 71, S KIM (USA) 67 71, J SCRIVENER (AUS) 69 69, C PIGEM (ESP) 69 69, J SJ?HOLM (SWE) 70 68, C PAISLEY (ENG) 70 68, R BLAND (ENG) 70 68,
139 P LARRAZ?BAL (ESP) 64 75, L CANTER (ENG) 67 72, J GUERRIER (FRA) 68 71, J HANSEN (DEN) 68 71, R KARLBERG (SWE) 68 71, B HEBERT (FRA) 69 70, R SANTOS (POR) 70 69, A RAI (ENG) 71 68, S TILEY (ENG) 72 67,
140 D COUPLAND (ENG) 68 72, R ENOCH (WAL) 68 72, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 69 71, R PARATORE (ITA) 70 70, A SULLIVAN (ENG) 70 70, R ROCK (ENG) 71 69, M KIEFFER (GER) 71 69, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 72 68, J DONALDSON (WAL) 72 68, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 73 67, L DE JAGER (RSA) 74 66,
141 M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 67 74, D WHITNELL (ENG) 69 72, C SORDET (FRA) 69 72, R MCEVOY (ENG) 69 72, R LANGASQUE (FRA) 69 72, S KJELDSEN (DEN) 70 71, R FISHER (ENG) 70 71, T PULKKANEN (FIN) 70 71, L SLATTERY (ENG) 70 71, B STOW (ENG) 70 71, J CATLIN (USA) 71 70, G FDEZ-CASTA?O (ESP) 73 68, J VEERMAN (USA) 75 66,
142 S CROCKER (USA) 67 75, C SYME (SCO) 67 75, N LEMKE (SWE) 70 72, G PORTEOUS (ENG) 70 72, R FOX (NZL) 70 72, S JAMIESON (SCO) 71 71, D HORSEY (ENG) 71 71, S BROWN (ENG) 71 71, T BJ?RN (DEN) 71 71, M CAMPBELL (NZL) 71 71, B POKE (DEN) 72 70, M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 72 70, B EVANS (ENG) 72 70,
143 J WALTERS (RSA) 66 77, J SENIOR (ENG) 71 72, S VINCENT (ZIM) 71 72, L VAN MEIJEL (NED) 71 72, M BALDWIN (ENG) 73 70, D DRYSDALE (SCO) 73 70, G MIGLIOZZI (ITA) 74 69,
144 R ROUSSEL (FRA) 67 77, L SCALISE (ITA) 70 74, R MCGOWAN (ENG) 71 73, M SCHMITT (GER) 72 72, G MOYNIHAN (IRL) 73 71, S SHARMA (IND) 73 71, N COLSAERTS (BEL) 73 71, P DUNNE (IRL) 74 70, A CA?IZARES (ESP) 75 69, M KAWAMURA (JPN) 75 69, R SCIOT-SIEGRIST (FRA) 76 68