Wallace overcomes Sharma to win Indian Open

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Beginning the day in a share of the lead, Wallace and Shubhankar Sharma exchanged birdies at the second before the Englishman drained a 25-footer to match his playing partner's gain at the fourth.

"If you told me I would be seven-under-par going into the weekend after being five-over-par on my opening nine holes yesterday, I would just have laughed", he said.

Korean Kim Sihwan shot four-under 68 to finish third at eight-under 280, while Pablo Larrazabal (69) and Matthias Schwab (70) signed off tied fourth.

Sharma started well with two birdies on the first four holes.

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Gurgaon: He can hit the low numbers nearly at will as he showed in two European Tour wins, but Shubhankar Sharma is equally able to stick it out when the chips are down.

Co-leader Wallace, whose second straight 70 included and eagle at the par-4 9th, is expecting another hard day Sunday but relishes the challenge. It was the first of three double bogeys for the Chandigarh golfer, who also had three other dropped shots. So I'm happy with what I achieved even though it was somewhat of a mixed bag. "I am looking forward to tomorrow", he added.

"I am very pleased with the birdie at the last, which allowed me to grab a share of the lead". On a day when the course was tough with tee boxes pushed back and some pins in hard positions, it was important to make good the chances and he did just that.

"The conditions were a lot tougher today as it was windy and the tees (10th and 15th) were pushed back. Thereafter, it was all about trying to catch up with the lead", Shubhankar said. "It's an open contest going into the last round as there are so many contenders".

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"I hit some really good shots and that play-off: I pumped it down there on the last and it went a long way and then a four iron went even further than I thought it would so I was jacked up a bit".

"I mean, we all played it differently and managed to find ourselves in the same position". Ajeetesh Sandhu, who was the best-placed Indian after the first round, was languishing at 26th after he carded two-over 74 on day three.

Barring Shubhankar, none of the Indians had much to boast about on Saturday. In what must rank as a disappointment for home fans, only eight Indians made the cut on the lengthened - and testing - course at their national Open, and of those that survived, seven - including 2015 victor Anirban Lahiri (T32, 75) - went over par as conditions continued to test resolve, ability and skill. Amateur Kshitij Naveed Kaul (77) was seven-over for three days at Tied 48.

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