Hertfordshire, UK, Aug 6: Shubhankar Sharma got off to a great start with birdies on the first two holes but was then unable to maintain the tempo and slid to even par 71 on the first day of the 2020 English Championship. On the Honbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club course which afforded a lot of scores, Sharma was lying way down in Tied-110th place needing a really low second round to make the cut. Last week in his first appearance on the UK Swing Sharma missed the cut at Hero Open.
As many as seven players, three of who had completed their round shot seven-under 64 to share the lead. The group included Australian Jason Scrivener, who played in the same group as Sharma and Gavin Green (69). Lee Min Woo, also of Australia, and Zimbabwean Scott Vincent, who plays a lot on Asian Tour also shot 64 each.
Also at seven-under but with some holes to play were Nicolas Colsaerts, Brandon Stone, Thomas Detry and Laurie Canter.
No less than 11 players, eight of whom had completed their rounds, carded 65 each.
Last week’s winner at Hero Open Sam Horsfield had a rough day with two-over 73 and was Tied-126th.
Scrivener finished a career high 32nd in the 2019 Race to Dubai Rankings courtesy of seven top ten finishes.
Scrivener was unlucky not to extend his advantage as a lengthy birdie putt shaved the left edge of the hole at the 17th before a carbon copy effort at the last missed to the right, before his compatriot also carded an opening 64 in Hertfordshire.
Lee missed the cut during the first two legs of the UK Swing at the Betfred British Masters and Hero Open but made a superb run of birdies around the turn to move into contention. Lee won the ISPS Handa Vic Open on home soil in February.
Former World Number One Lee Westwood and Thorbjorn Olesen led a group of five players at five under.