Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma began with a flourish, but two slightly wayward tee shots cost him heavily as he ended the first day with a roller-coaster one-over 73 in the Hero Open on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Indian, who has two wins on the European Tour, had a birdie followed by an eagle on the second and third holes, but double bogeys on the 10th and 13th on the tougher back stretch saw him drop a bunch of shots.
Overall, he had an eagle, three birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys in an eventful round at the Hero Open, which is the second event on the UK Swing, at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club.
Spain’s Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez fired a stunning 62 to hold the clubhouse lead on day one, as fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal shot 64. Veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 56-year-old playing his record 707th European Tour event, was five-under through 10 holes with five birdies.
Sharma said despite the over par round, he felt he played well.
“Just the tee shot on 10th and 13th cost me a lot. On 10th, I hit it slightly to the left and then did not have a shot, so chipped out and then missed an up-and-down too. On 13th, the wind took the tee shot a little too much to the left and I lost the ball.
“I feel I can get it all back tomorrow.”
Speaking about his eagle on the third, Sharma said, “That was nice coming after a 15-foot birdie on second. I hit two good shots and holed a 15-footer for eagle. I had two other birdies with nice approach shots.
“As I said I did not feel any rust because I have been playing and keeping scores at home in Chandigarh. Just need to tighten those small errors and it should be fine.?
On the experience of getting to the UK and spending time in a bubble, Sharma said, “At the event, we were tested and we are now in a bubble and meals are just me and Gurbaaz (who is on the caddie for him) and we all maintain social distancing.
“We know the rules, so nothing new and we had been practicing that at the course in Chandigarh, too.”
Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark was third with 66, while Oliver Farr was also six under with two more holes to go.
David Drysdale shot a one over 73 on his 500th European Tour appearance.
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