Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma started with a birdie from the tenth hole but failed to maintain the momentum and slipped to T-71st place at the halfway stage of the CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES tournament on Friday. Sharma ended the second day at 3-over 75 for a two-day total of 5-over 149.
With no cut being applied in the limited field event, Sharma stayed on for the weekend with a chance to improve his scores and position. He birdied first, but bogeyed 11th, 12th and 16th. On the second nine, he bogeyed first, birdied eighth and closed with a bogey on ninth.
Brooks Koepka, recently named the PGA TOUR player of the year, gave himself a chance to become the No. 1 player in the world as he shot a 7-under par 65 to move to within one shot of the lead.
Koepka will move to the top of world rankings on Monday if he wins the tournament, as long as former No. 1 Justin Thomas, the defending champion here, does not finish any better than second.
Thomas matched Koepka’s eagle on the last, but that was only for a 70 and he is tied for 22nd place at 1-under. Koepka, winner of three Majors, two of them in 2018, made an eagle on his closing hole to finish on 8-under par 136 after two rounds. He is just one shot behind Scott Piercy, who was bogey-free in matching Koepka’s 65.
With the wind subsiding, the course played much easier than on the opening day when the scoring average was 73.26 and 44 of the 78 players had under-par rounds. Overnight leader Chez Reavie added a 70 to his opening-round 68 to sit at third place at 138, three behind Piercy.
Sweden’s Alex Noren was the other player in with a 65, which moved him into a tie for fourth place alongside Ian Poulter (69), four out of the lead. The best round of the day was a 64 by Brian Harman, who was tied for sixth and five behind Piercy.