Shubhankar misses cut in Japan

Omitama (Japan): India’s Shubhankar Sharma scored an improved one-under 69 in the second round but still missed the cut at the ISPS HANDA Championship here on Saturday.

Sharma, who is coming back after a month-long lay-off, had two bogeys on the front nine of the course and three birdies on the back nine. Yet his first round two-over 72 meant he was one-over for two rounds and missed the cut, which fell at 2-under.

Sharma has now missed four cuts in his last four starts.

Aaron Cockerill heads into the fourth and final round of the 2023 ISPS Handa Championship with a one-shot lead after making a lightning-quick start on Saturday.

The Canadian began his third-round 64 with a hat-trick of birdies before making four more gains and a single bogey to reach 13 under par.

Cockerill will have the chasing pack hot on his heels as he bids to secure his maiden DP World Tour title at PGM Ishioka Golf Club, with Australian Lucas Herbert and Scotland’s David Law on 12 under after posting rounds of 68 and 64 respectively.

Law started the day on six-under but carded seven birdies and one bogey in his third round to storm into contention, while halfway co-leader Herbert made a birdie-bogey-birdie start but had to wait until the 16th for another birdie to move to 12-under.

Japanese duo Rikuya Hoshino, who lives just 30 minutes from the course, and Takumi Kanaya are one shot further back alongside Scot Grant Forrest on 11-under, one stroke clear of Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain.