Abu Dhabi, Jan 20 (PTI) Young Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma fired a third successive under-par round to be Tied- 44th after the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA here today.
Sharma, winner of Joburg Open in December, has now shot rounds of 71-70-70 to be five-under 211. He is the lone Indian in the field, which includes World No.1 Dustin Johnson and former World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
EurAsia Cup team-mates Ross Fisher (65) and Thomas Pieters (67) share the lead after an enthralling third round and four-time Major winner McIlroy is just a shot off the pace.
McIlroy (65) was third, while Johnson (68) was Tied-12th.
Sharma had three birdies in first seven holes and then bogeyed eighth. He dropped two further shots on 14th and 15th before closing the day with a superb eagle on 18th, which he birdied in the first two rounds.
The big-hitting Belgian Pieters had powered into a one shot lead with a flawless 65 on Friday, but had to add four front-nine birdies when play resumed at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to remain ahead of the chasing pack as Matt Fitzpatrick surged through the field.
The birdies dried up somewhat on the back nine for both players, and eventually it was Fisher who caught Pieters on 17 under par.
McIlroy, bogey free for first 36 holes, dropped a first bogey of the week on the 15th, but chipped in for birdie two holes later and a 65 left him well placed to make his return to action a winning one.
The Northern Irishman has been out since October to allow a rib injury to fully heal.
Fitzpatrick and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood share fourth on 14 under as members of Thomas Bj rn’s victorious European side from last week’s contest with Asia fill four of the top five places.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.