Indian golfers SSP Chawrasia and Shubhankar Sharma ensured their participation over the weekend on the European Tour’s Scottish Championship on Friday.
It was a particularly impressive result for the 42-year-old Chawrasia, who had tested COVID-positive in August.
Chawrasia, who had been training at home in Kolkata after recovering, was playing in his first event since March and hardly showed any signs of rustiness.
The Indian golfer carded three birdies in the first four holes in the first round and went on to sink three more through the round to end with a creditable three-under 69 on Thursday.
“Considering how long it has been since I played a tournament, it was a decent start. I had begun to find my rhythm in preparing for the Hero Indian Open (since cancelled) but then came the lockdown.
“That took away the momentum. And then I had COVID-19 and my mother too had it. I am glad all that is behind,” Chawrasia told PTI after the first round.
The second round on Friday was less eventful in comparison.
Chawrasia began with two bogies in the first three holes. However, he carded two birdies on the front nine to even the scores.
On the back nine, the veteran Indian golfer sunk birdies on the par-4 14th and 15th holes, and ended the round with another birdie on the 18th to finish with another three-under 69.
The aggregate six-under score was good enough to place Chawrasia tied-18th and ensured that he made the cut easily.
Chawrasia’s younger compatriot Shubhankar Sharma found the going tougher at the Fairmont St. Andrews Hotel course in Fife, Scotland.
Sharma had carded four birdies and three bogies to score one-under in the opening round. He could then only manage a single birdie in the second round but nullified that with a bogey on the par-4 13th to end with an even-par 72 on Friday.
However, Shubhankar Sharma’s overall one-under score was just enough to allow him to sneak through to the weekend rounds at tied-62, along with seven other golfers.
Meanwhile, the third Indian in the fray Gaganjeet Bhullar missed out on the cut by two shots after ending with a two-over aggregate score. It was the fourth-consecutive European Tour event on which Bhullar has been unable to play on the weekend.
Otaegui, Wallace share lead
Spain’s Adrian Otaegui and Englishman Matt Wallace sat in the joint-lead going into the final two rounds with identical scores of 12-under at the Scottish Championship.
The in-form Aaron Rai, who won the prestigious Scottish Open a fortnight ago after a playoff victory over Tommy Fleetwood, sat third while Adrien Saddier was placed fourth.
Irishman Padraig Harrington, who will captain the European team for the 2021 Ryder Cup was tied-fifth along with England’s Paul Waring and Garrick Porteous.