Shubhankar Sharma registers best finish at 16th in Dubai Desert Classic

Top Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma played solidly on a course that had a challenging rough and penalised small error, as he came up with his best-ever finish of tied-16 (T16) in the Dubai Desert Classic here.

Top Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma played solidly on a course that had a challenging rough and penalised small error, as he came up with his best-ever finish of tied-16 (T16) in the Dubai Desert Classic here.

Sharma shot a 2-under 70 and like his earlier rounds, it could have been a little better. He finished with 72-71-70-70 for a 5-under total that gave him his best finish at T-16 in the Dubai Desert Classic. His best in six previous starts was T-22 in 2021.

Rory McIlroy (70) stood rock steady over the final nine as his main rivals Adrian Meronk (71) and Cameron Young (74) rose and fell over the final round as the World No. 2 maintained his love affair with the Dubai Desert Classic as he successfully defended the title and won it for a record fourth time eclipsing the previous best of three by Ernie Els.

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A week after seeing his one-shot lead turn into a 1-shot loss on the 72nd hole, McIlroy played the steadiest of back nines and from being 10 behind after 36 holes, he was first past the line. It was a good start to the season for Shubhankar Sharma, who had five birdies against three bogeys, two of which came late at the 15th and 16th holes. The win will fetch Sharma over a hundred points on the Race to Dubai Standings and over 100,000 Euros in earnings.

Describing the week and the start to the 2024 season, Sharma said, “I would say it is very positive and very gritty. I wasn’t feeling too well at the start of the week. So I had to be patient with the body and the game. “I thought I managed myself and I know there wasn’t a very deep (low) round, but this golf course isn’t the easiest – Rory did shoot nine under, but he seemed to be playing a different golf course,” he said.

Sharma said he had four decent rounds of par or better in the event. “This week I had four decent rounds of par or better. Every round could have been better by a couple of shots but that’s golfing for the first week. After knocking off the rust of December I’m quite happy with this week. Hopefully, this will get better,” said Sharma.

 (IANS)

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