Grillo takes 4-shot lead into the weekend at Indian Open

Lynette Rowe
March 11, 2018

Khalin Joshi's error-free four-under-68 ensured he was the second Indian in the top-10 on day two. The cut is likely to be applied at three-over-147.

From an Indian point of view, it meant the local fans will have a lot to look forward to over the weekend.

"I think the courtesy vehicle made a world record from the hotel to the golf course in a couple of minutes, a ride that can take 10 or 15 minutes". Five-over after his first nine holes on Thursday, Sharma salvaged his first round to end at 1-over. The first nine featured three birdies and a bogey, and gave no inkling of the birdie barrage coming in.

And with Argentine Emiliano Grillo being the runaway leader after following his course record-equalling 7-under 65 with a 4-under 68, there was much to be anxious about at the DLF Golf & Country Club.

Already a two-time victor on the European Tour this year, Shubhankar was placed four strokes behind the Argentine at the halfway mark and knowing the daily grind on this demanding layout, a couple of strokes lost or gained will make a lot of difference. "I had about 168 yards to the hole and it landed like a feather just about a foot from the pin".

I feel great. I fought back yesterday I knew I am playing well so I didn't go for anything different.

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"If you told me I would be seven under-par going into the weekend after being five-over-par on my opening nine holes (10th to 18th) yesterday, I would just have laughed", he said.

"Today's round will definitely rank up there as one of my most significant achievements, especially when it is played at this course", said Sharma, who is attached to the club. "I had to play nearly flawless golf to shoot a seven under". I've shot a few low numbers in my career and this one is right in my top five. The score took him from tied 35th in round one to tied ninth on day two.

I knew about the course record so I went from it.

But any player fancying a tilt at the Indian Open title will have to contend with 25-year-old Grillo, who sits atop the leaderboard at 11-under despite a closing bogey on the 9th hole.

Indian golfers have won 12 of the last 26 renewals and I fancy that could soon be 13 from 27. "When I practiced on Tuesday and played the pro-am on Wednesday, I was telling myself that I'll be in a good position if I can just shoot under par every day. It was very tough and I was able to make some good putts and hit the fairways when I needed to". Shubhankar's "vegetarian" partner Khalin Joshi jumped 26 places to tied-9th with a 4-under 68.

133 - Emiliano Grillo (Arg) (65, 68); 137 - Shubhankar Sharma (73, 64), 138 - Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) (67, 71), Andrew Johnston (Eng) (72, 66); 139 - Matt Wallace (Eng) (69, 70), Keith Horne (RSA) (66, 73) and Jens Dantrop (Swe) (69, 70).

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