European Tour, 25 May 2019: In a remarkable round of golf that saw Shubhankar Sharma produce a thrilling stretch of birdies on his second nine to resurrect his card provided for a thrilling spectacle on Friday.
Shubhankar endured a torrid front nine before rediscovering his best. A double bogey at the 13th was offset by birdies at the 14th and 16th holes.
But the water around the 18th threatened to swallow Shubhankar’s hopes of a good weekend in Denmark. He sank his tee shot in the water and got wet again with his fourth before eventually making a quadruple bogey.
Shubhankar made a forceful finish though, making five birdies in his last six holes to finish with a 70 and secure his weekend. Also in the fray are Gaganjeet Bhullar and SSP Chawrasia. The two-time Indian Open champion is at 1-under through 36 holes, with Shubhankar at even and Bhullar at one-over.
Matthias Schwab stood up to everything Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort could throw at him and emerged with a one-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA.
The Austrian was faced with cold, wet and windy conditions in Farsø but produced a stunning bogey-free 66 to move to eight under.
That handed him a three-shot lead and while the weather improved in the afternoon, the wind was unrelenting, and Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares and Frenchman Romain Langasque were the only players who could get any closer.
Langasque joined Schwab in carding a bogey-free 66, while Cañizares signed for a 69.
Scot Robert MacIntyre, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger were then three shots off the lead.
Schwab finished an impressive 72nd on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex in his rookie 2018 season and has been a picture of consistency so far this campaign.
He has two top tens from ten made cuts in 12 events as he looks to edge ever closer to a first European Tour victory.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’m happy about how the day went.
“I’m a little bit happy that it’s over too because, especially early, it was very difficult and not much fun to be out there with rain and wind and very cold but, in the end, it turned out to be a good day for me. It was just one shot at a time.
“I think I usually play pretty okay on courses that are tough, I guess that suits me and I guess I’m a good wind player too. I really just want to do my own thing and see what comes out.”
Schwab got himself into an eight way tie for the lead with birdies on the 14th and 17th and he broke out of the logjam with a birdie on the second.
He briefly extended his lead to two as he got up and down on the par five fifth but MacIntyre cut the gap to one with a stunning tee shot at the 16th.
The Challenge Tour graduate would give the shot back on the next to sign for a roller coaster 70 also containing birdies on the fifth, eighth, 12th and 14th, and bogeys on the first, tenth and 13th.
Schwab made an excellent up-and-down to save par on the seventh and a smart approach into the ninth handed him a closing birdie and a three shot lead.
In the afternoon, Cañizares turned in 36 as he sandwiched a birdie on the 17th with a pair of bogeys but he came to life on the way home, picking up further shots on the first, sixth and eighth.
“We got a little bit luckier than the morning groups,” he said. “It wasn’t raining but it was quite windy and cold. I felt even better than yesterday because I had some great pars, some great up-and-downs. It was a lovely round.”
Langasque looked like he would be in the chasing pack as he turned in 34 with birdies on the seventh and ninth, but a hat-trick of gains from the 14th catapulted him up the leaderboard.
“I’m feeling good, that was a really good day,” he said. “It was really tough when I started. I like the wind. I think it’s going to be really windy so that’s a good point, I want to have these kind of conditions.”
Quiros had been at six under after he sandwiched a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth with gains on the first and tenth but he dropped a shot on the 16th after coming up short of the green.
Wiesberger is a four time European Tour winner and he cancelled out a double bogey on the tenth with birdies on the third, fifth, 11th and 14th.
Swede Alexander Björk, Ireland’s Paul Dunne, Frenchman Adrien Saddier and Germany’s Max Schmitt were four shots off the lead.
Sebastian Soderberg made the 14th hole-in-one of the season and second of the week on the 16th as the Swede holed a 50 degree wedge from 100 yards.