Shubhankar Sharma exits from maiden Masters, Reed takes over the lead

Mexico City : India's Shubhankar Sharma, tees off on the second hole during the final round of the Mexico Championship at Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, March 4, 2018. AP/PTI Photo(AP3_5_2018_000014B)

Vastavam web: Shubhankar Sharma exited at the halfway stage of his maiden Masters, but insists he has learnt enough to come back and make a mark in the future. Playing way better than the first day, Sharma did a good job despite the strong breeze that made things difficult on Friday at the Augusta National Golf Club.His 2-over 74 got him a total of 7-over 151, and left him way off the cutline that fell 5-over.

He had nine birdies against three bogeys for a stunning 6-under 66 that carried him to the very top at 9-under. Despite a bogey on 18th he was two shots clear of Australian Marc Leishman (67) who provided one of the highlights of the day with an eagle from four feet on Par-5 15th.Reed has now birdied each of four par-5s on both days and that has been the strength for him.Talking about his Masters experience, Sharma added, It has been fantastic. I think I’ll be a few shots shy off the cut but I thought I played pretty good, just didn’t finish the way I wanted to yesterday. But this experience is invaluable. Just can’t wait to get back every year after this and I’ll do my best and I know I’ll have to play my best to get here every year, but it has been a fantastic experience. The course has been in superb condition, the crowds have been great and it’s just a pleasure to play in front of them.

Despite missing the cut, Sharma plans to stay on for next two days, before heading to his next event in Texas.Starting the day 5-over and needing a sub-par or at least a par round, as it turned out, to ensure weekend action, Sharma never found the momentum he needed to bring in a low score. On this course, you need a few birdies to start with. I had the chance on first day and again on second, but did not quite hole them, said Sharma. But I was happy with my driving. Actually it was driving that I was thinking about.

On his game he added, Yeah, I thought I played really well today. It was really windy out there and that’s why you don’t see too many low scores today. So I thought I played pretty good, just missed a few putts. Until the end I kept on fighting and it just didn’t go my way, but I’m proud of how I played.As Sharma fell off, Li Haotong, who was 3-under for first day, fell to one-over for the tournament with a 76 on second day and was T-23. Li was tied with Vijay Sigh (71-74). Kiradech Aphibarnrat after shooting a 79 on first day improved by nine to card 2-under 70 and made the cut on the line at 5-over.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia (81-78) missed the cut by a mile as his 13 on Par-5 15th was still the talk of the tournament. Also missing out was 2016 winner, Danny Willett (75-76).On Friday, Sharma bidding to become the third Indian to make the cut at the Masters after Jeev Milkha Singh and Anirban Lahiri, had just one birdie but a handful of lip outs and close shaves.