Shubhankar Sharma blazed through the first nine in 6-under 30 on way to carding an 8-under 64, leapfrogging 45 places to be T-26 by the third round of THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES here on Saturday. It was the day’s best card and saw Sharma zoom from T-71st to T-26.
Sharma, who shot 74-75 on first two days and was 5-over for 36 holes, is now 3-under for 54 holes but as much as 10 shots behind the leader, Brooks Koepka (67). Koepka, who can become World No. 1 with a win this week, is 13-under 203, while Ian Poulter (68) is tied for second place with second-round leader Scott Piercy (72) with 9-under 207.
The third round sizzler brought a huge smile on Sharma’s face. “Really happy with the way I played today. I knew before starting that I had to go low to have any chance going into the weekend. Even for a good finish I had to go low today.
“I had four birdies in the first five after starting from the tenth. That’s always good when you’re 4 under after five. Then I made two more on the 17th and the 18th to go out in 6-under. I actually had a great start. Made two-three putts on the front nine (of the course), but still pretty happy with the 8 under.”
As for any specific part of the game clicking, Sharma said, “I think everything just kind of turned around for me. Today I was in a better zone today compared to the first two days, I didn’t get agitated with myself. I still hit a few bad shots, but I was very, very calm on the course and I think that’s what kept me going.”
There were six golfers tied for fourth, including Rafa Cabrera Bello (65) and first-round leader Chez Reavie (70). The others were Pat Perez (68), Cameron Smith (67), Jamie Lovemark (68) and Gary Woodland (68). Current World No. 4 Justin Thomas shot a 71 and is at 1-under, 11 strokes behind Koepka and tied for 43rd.