Emilliano Grillo has a four-stroke lead halfway through the Hero Indian Open. So why is all the buzz not about him?
Because the man in second place has become a folk hero to the local golf fans in the last three months.
That’s 21-year-old Shubhankar Sharma if you’ve been on Mars for the last three months. Sharma has two wins already this year on the European Tour and lead the WGC-Mexico City last week going into Sunday before finishing ninth.
After a rocky 73 to open the tournament, Sharma tore up the course with a new record of 64, breaking the mark Grillo set just 24 hours earlier.
Sharma looked like a different player on the back nine from Day One to Day Two. On Thursday, he shot the front nine with a 4-under 32 and on Friday it was a 2-under 34.
On the back nine on Thursday, he crumbled with three bogeys and a double bogey in route to a 5-over 41. On Friday, he birdied six of the nine holes to turn in back-nine 30, 11 shots better than on Thursday. Sharma moved up 53 spots on the leaderboard on Friday.
Grillo shot a 68 and is the only player to have reached double digits under par.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “When I practised 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.
“Hopefully, I can keep my form going. I’ve done well over the past two days and I can’t ask for more. Today, I hit some bad putts, but I think I’ll be fine.”