Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma had a modest start in cold and windy conditions to card 2-over 74 in the first round of the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges here on Thursday. Sharma, who was T-10 at the CIMB Classic last week, was T-47th but six shots behind the leader, Chez Reavie (68).
The 36-year-old Reavie grabbed the sole lead in the first-round by one shot with a 68 during which he found every fairway and hit 15 of the 18 greens. Reavie is in search of his second career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2008 RBC Canadian Open. He has played 231 events since that lone win.
Sharma, after a par start, had an eventful three-hole stretch with a bogey on second and back-to-back birdies on next two holes. He ran into problems on the Par-3 seventh, where he double bogeyed.
On the back nine, Sharma had three bogeys and two birdies and finished at 2-over 74. “It was pretty tough out there. It was pretty windy and cold and it was tough. Not used to playing in cold conditions and I was just trying to keep my hands warm the whole day but it was a good day, had a lot of fun. I will try to come back strong tomorrow,” Sharma said.
“I made a few bad decisions on the course as the winds were swirling a lot. Made some bad errors on the par threes (had a double on the par three seventh hole). The course is fantastic, pure and I don’t find any blemish. The winds made it tough for sure but I hope to put on some good scores in the next three days.”
The 2016 Masters champion, Danny Willett and Korea’s Si-Woo Kim were one shot behind Reavie at 3-under in T-2nd place. There were seven players, including Ian Poulter, An Byeong-hun and Nick Watney, at 2-under 70 in Tied-4th place.
Brooks Koepka, the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Player of the Year, opened with a 1-under 71 and is three shots back of the first-round lead. Sungjae Im, who is from Jeju Island and was named the 2018 Web.com Tour Player of the Year, shot 1-over 73 and was T-33rd.