Tyrrell Hattton, leader by two shots. Pic: Getty Images
Wentworth, UK, Oct 11: Shubhankar Sharma had contrasting fortunes as he had a double bogey and a triple bogey on successive holes on the front nine and three birdies without any loss of shots on the back nine for a day’s work of even par 72 in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. His even par round saw him stay at 1-under for the tournament and was Tied-44th with one more round to go in the Rolex Series event.
The conditions were not easy as Sharma ran into early trouble with a pair of sevens – a triple bogey on Par-4 third hole and a double bogey on Par-5 third. That loss of five shots hit him hard as he turned in 3-over. Sharma fought back hard with three birdies against no bogeys on 12th, 16th and 18th to finish at even par.
His earlier rounds were 73-70 and he has now had two doubles and a triple in three days.
Meanwhile, Tyrrell Hatton moved into pole position to claim a third Rolex Series title as the Englishman surged ahead of a star-studded field with a four under par 68 on day three. Hatton, who turns 29 next Wednesday, entered the weekend one shot off the pace set by Matthew Fitzpatrick (76) and Shane Lowry (74) but the halfway leaders both struggled to make any ground over the West Course and Hatton capitalised.
Joachim B. Hansen of Denmark and Frenchman Victor Perez were the closest contenders on 11-under, both having carded third round 70s, while David Horsey, Tommy Fleetwood, Lowry and a bogey-free Patrick Reed were all four shots off the pace on 10 under.
Gavin Green, who was tied-third after the first round, had a roller-coaster of a round on day three. He had four birdies, an eagle, three bogeys, a double and a triple bogey. Right at the end, he double bogeyed Par-5 seventh and then eagled Par-5 18th for a topsy-turvy finish. He carded 2-over 74 and is now 4-under and Tied-27th.
Masahiro Kawamura (70-69-69) at 8-under was T-10, while Scott Hend (68-69-73) was T-14 and Wang Jeunghun (72-70-69) was T-22. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71-70-72) was T-31.
Hatton, a four-time European Tour winner’s eagle three at the 12th hole was crucial as he built a three-stroke advantage on 14 under par. Hatton has already won in the US this year and a win this week could move him into Top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career.
English duo Eddie Pepperell and Ian Poulter shared eighth place on nine under par, while their countryman Jordan Smith recorded the second hole-in-one of the week – holing out with a nine iron on the second hole to add to David Howell’s ace at the 14th in round two.
Hatton said, “It wasn’t easy out there and it was nice to finish with a birdie and shoot another round in the 60s and overall pretty happy with how I played. I’m obviously very happy to be in the position I’m in. You can’t win the tournament today. There’s a lot of golf still to be played tomorrow, so I’ve just got to go out there tomorrow and try my best.
“I’ve been in this position before and gone on to win tournaments. I’ve been in this position before and not won the tournament. It’s so hard to win tournaments in golf. When it’s your week, obviously everything falls into place. I’ve really enjoyed the week so far and I’m just hoping that I can kind of have a good day tomorrow and that’s all I can — I can only control myself and that’s what I’ve got to do.
“It this would be really special. It’s kind of a career goal for me to win this event. Being here as a five-year-old and now being inside the ropes is pretty cool. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow.”