Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma missed a lot of makeable putts on the second day to miss the cut at the Houston Open but took a lot of positives as he got into ‘Masters’ mode a week ahead of the year’s first Major.
Making his debut at Houston Open, Sharma, a two-time winner on Asian and European Tours, was one-over 73 on first day and needed to get to at least 4-under to have a chance of making the cut.
He finished at two-under 70 for a total of one-under 143, but missed the cut by two. He must be ruing his misses on second (7 feet for par), 12th (12 foot for birdie), 15th (6 feet four for birdie) and 18th (6 feet nine for par).
Yet he can be satisfied with his game as he heads to Augusta two days earlier than planned, but it will give him a chance to get used to what many golfers call as the ‘best’ Major.
Meanwhile, Beau Hossler moved into lead as better-known players faltered down the stretch on Friday. Hossler has a one-shot lead heading into the weekend.
The 23-year-old Hossler shot a four-under 68 for a two-day total of 11-under 133, good enough for the second 36-hole lead of his rookie season.
Rickie Fowler was tied with Hossler before he hooked his drive into the water on 18, leading to bogey. He shot 68 to join Sam Ryder, Abraham Ancer and Nicholas Lindheim at 10 under.
Jordan Spieth’s putter heated up between 10th and 14th as he birdied four times in five holes, before a bogey on 16th stopped that run.
He shot 67 and was two shots back as he seeks his first win of the season on the eve of the Masters.
Spieth lost in a playoff in Houston in 2015 and went on to win the first of his three major titles the following week at Augusta National.
Twenty-two players were within three shots of the lead.
Phil Mickelson took the biggest step backward on 18. He was bogey-free for 17 holes and 8-under for the tournament before he found the water twice and made triple bogey.
Paul Dunne of Ireland, who finished his first-round 64 on Friday morning, was 9-under after a 71. Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar were among the dozen players at 8-under.