Florida's Sam Horsfield stumbles late to miss cut at Joburg Open

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Florida's Sam Horsfield stumbles late to miss cut at Joburg Open

Euro Tour

Florida's Sam Horsfield stumbles late to miss cut at Joburg Open

Sam Horsfield’s start to his rookie European Tour year came to a grinding halt when he suffered a late collapse to miss the cut in the $1.2 million Joburg Open in South Africa.

The former Florida player appeared on track to make his second successive cut after an opening 3-under 68. Three birdies in the first six holes of his second round saw him shoot up the leaderboard. Back-to-back bogeys at the eighth and ninth holes stopped his progress, but he got back on track with birdies at the 12th and 14th holes.

Three under through 14 holes would have seen the 21-year-old into the weekend, but a triple bogey at the 16th wiped out all that good work. He compounded that error with consecutive bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes to return a 2-over 74.

Horsfield, who won the European Tour Qualifying School by eight shots, finished equal 22nd in Mauritius last week and looked a good prospect to do well in Johannesburg. The Ian Poulter protégé will make his next start in the SA Open in January. 

Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen held a one-shot lead over Shubhankar Sharma of India when play was suspended due to a storm. Round 2 will be completed Saturday.

The 27-year-old Finn returned an 8-under 64 around the Bushwillow Course at Randpark Golf Club. He began with six birdies in a row, added two more at 11 and 12 and closed with six straight pars. He is bogey free for 36 holes. 

“I’m really happy with my game,” said Pulkkanen, who topped the 2017 Challenge Tour money list to earn his playing rights this season. “I’ve been driving the ball really. 

“It was a good start to my round with six birdies in a row. The putter has been really hot.

“Leading a European Tour event so early on in my season sounds more magnificent than it really is. It’s a similar feeling to the Challenge Tour actually, so I’m comfortable.”

There is more to play for this week than the $230,000 first place check: The top three players who are not already exempt will earn a place into the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

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