Shubhankar Sharma climbs inside the top 10 in Himmerland

Shubhankar Sharma made six birdies in a spotless 65 on Saturday to force his way into contention. At 9-under, the Indian trails Bernd Wiesberger by five strokes.

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Shubhankar Sharma - Getty Images - European Tour

29 May 2021: Things turn pretty quickly in golf. After grinding out some painstaking weeks on the European Tour, Shubhankar Sharma seems to finally discovered his sails in Denmark. In an eventful third round the 24 year old from Chandigarh found a bunch of birdies as he has so many times in his nascent international career, but even more importantly, stretched his bogey free run to 22 holes. On Saturday Shubhankar secured a 65 to his name, climbing inside the top 10, and perhaps into contention for some silver at the end of Sunday.

Shubhankar hasn’t won again since his triumphant run in Malaysia three years back and another low round tomorrow could mark the end of a drought that will bring him both happiness and relief.

Bernd Wiesberger - European Tour - Getty Images
Bernd Wiesberger – European Tour – Getty Images

Defending champion (winner in 2019, event canceled in 2020) Bernd Wiesberger stayed on course for a wire to wire victory, extracting a one-stroke lead over Alexander Bjork with a disciplined 68.

“I feel good. It wasn’t as easy today scoring wise, obviously conditions were a lot easier but I had to scramble a little bit. Got a couple of good breaks, gutsy up-and-downs as well, you know I am not happy about the last hole obviously, but I’m still in a good position for tomorrow and I know exactly what it is going to feel like on that tee going in with a one-shot lead, so that is going to be nice,” said Wiesberger.

“Just down 12 I got a massive break, it was at least a two-shot swing really, actually hit a good shot up there, just flew forever and didn’t come down and ran over the green, so I would say it was probably one in ten thousand to get up and down and one in a million to hole it, so you take those. Sometimes it needs to happen to stay up there with the leaderboard, so I will take the bonuses and glad about that. Putted decent and the shorter holes I took advantage of on 14 and 17, but a lot of shots still left out there.”

Kurt Kitayama powered himself to the clubhouse lead, with an impactful seven-under 64 in the third round, only to be overhauled by Laurie Canter (64) at 11-under, with Bjork (66) at 13-under and the leader one shot better. Matthias Schwab, Masahiro Kawamura, Josh Geary, Richard Bland and Jason Scrivener are also within striking distance at 10-under with Kitayama.

Shubhankar began where he left it towards the end of the second round. One-over through 13 holes, the Indian was even overall, the blade hanging firmly over his sweaty neck. But he produced three birdies in four holes to steer clear of the cut, which fell eventually at 1-under.

He began his third round with a birdie on the very first hole to set out on a positive note. After five straight pars, he shot a hat-trick right on the turn, navigating the first nine holes in just 32 strokes. That was four better than his effort in the first two rounds.

Shubhankar made two more birdies on the return stretch to match the 33 strokes he took on Friday for a 6-under card heading into a promising Sunday.