The biggest stars shine brightest on the darkest nights. Shubhankar Sharma showed tremendous character as he bounced back from a miserable start to post an even 72 on Saturday. At the top, Tyrrell Hatton enjoys a three stroke advantage at 14-under over Victor Perez and Joachim Hansen. Patrick Reed, who made the trip to Europe to protect his standing in the Race to Dubai, was placed in T4 with Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood and David Horsey at 10-under.
Shubhankar got off to a fine start with a birdie on the second hole. But it was a red herring. The 24-year-old Indian was left battered at the next two holes, where he conceded five strokes with a triple bogey followed by a double on the fourth hole.
He showed belief and character in producing a birdie on the fifth, but as he went past the turn, he was still three over for the day.
In a remarkable turnaround, Shubhankar went from the fifth through the 18th without any further damage, adding three more birdies on the way home for an even 72. He is one-under through three rounds and is currently in T44. Shubhankar finished in T26 at the Scottish Open last week.
Hatton is a two-time Rolex series winner, having captured the Italian Open in 2017 and the Turkish Airlines Open last year. He won the second in a thrilling playoff against five other golfers. Hatton made a 69 in the third round.
“It would be obviously very special,” acknowledged Hatton, about his prospects of winning it all on Sunday. “I’ve said earlier in the week it’s been a goal of mine to hopefully win this tournament.
“You can’t win it on Saturday and there are still 18 holes to go. I have to try and not get too far ahead of myself.
“I can take confidence from the fact that I’ve won on Tour before and I’ve just got to go out there and try and control myself, hopefully play well like I have been the past three days and just see what happens.”Tyrrell Hatton
Overnight leaders Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick endured a rough day. The former shot 74 while the latter suffered a 76 to slip down the order.