Shubhankar Sharma still leads as Joburg Open heads to Monday finish

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Shubhankar Sharma still leads as Joburg Open heads to Monday finish

Euro Tour

Shubhankar Sharma still leads as Joburg Open heads to Monday finish

Shubhankar Sharma will have to wait an extra day to see if he can win the $1.2 million Joburg Open. The 21-year-old Indian holds a four-shot lead with play carried over until Monday.

Sharma birded two of his first seven holes to reach 22 under, and was on the eighth green when dangerous weather forced suspension of play. South African Erik van Rooyen birdied four of the first eight holes to reach 18 under and is lying in second place. Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen and James Morrison of England lie in third place tied on 14 under.

Sharma is playing in just his 10th European event. The Asian Tour player has five victories on the PGA Tour of India, so he’s used to the pressure of trying to close out a tournament.

“I’m going to treat it like another day,” Sharma said. “I’m going to do the same things which I’ve been doing the last four days.

“It is not frustrating but you get into a groove when you start and you don’t want to come off. I saw the clouds coming on the seventh hole and I was praying we could finish but we can’t help it. I’m playing well so I want to continue doing that.

“I had to cancel my flight tickets today but that was an easy thing to do considering the position I’m in.”

The top three players in Joburg not otherwise exempt gain spots into the Open Championship in Carnoustie in July. Sharma, van Rooyen and Pulkkanen currently occupy those spots. Pulkkanen would get the spot over Morrison since he has a high world ranking.

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