Muscat (Oman), Feb 15 (PTI) It was a disappointing start for Indian golfers Shubhankar Sharma and SSP Chawrasia at the inaugural NBO Oman Open as they opened the week with a matching one-over 73, here today.
Shubhankar got off to a great start with a birdie on 10th and an eagle on 12th, but in between he bogeyed the 11th. Then he lost his momentum and just managed one birdie against four bogeys in his next 12 holes. He finished with three pars and rued three three-putts.
Chawrasia starting from the first had 10 straight pars, but over the next holes, he had a colorful card. He had four bogeys, three birdies and just one par and ended at 73.
Shubhankar, who played alongside Alex Levy (71) and Andy Sullivan (67), said, “I am disappointed. I was two-under after 3 holes, but lost my momentum after that.” He, however, did see some positives, saying, “The positive is that I am hitting good, so a good score of 4 or 5 under is possible. The three-putts cost me.” Englishmen Paul Waring and Mathew Southgate took the first round lead with cards of seven-under 65 each and they led Dutchman Daan Huizing (66), who is a well-known player in local circles.
Al Mouj Golf is hosting a European Tour event for the first time this week but five Challenge Tour events have been held at the Muscat layout, with Huizing playing four of them and finishing in the top ten at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in November.
Huizing lost his card in 2014 after graduating from the Challenge Tour and has played just 11 European Tour events since but looked very much at home in the Middle East.
Andy Sullivan and Callum Shinkwin shot 67 each to be Tied-fourth as four Englishmen featured in the Top-5.
Australian Sam Brazel, Welshman Oliver Farr, France’s Matthieu Pavon, Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti, Englishman Jordan Smith and Matteo Mannassero were at four under.
Chilean Felipe Aguilar, Frenchman Julien Guerrier, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and England’s Matt Wallace were then all three shots off the lead.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.