Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma suffered two double bogeys in a space of three holes as he scored 2-over 72 and was lying Tied 117th after the first round of the 2023 ISPS Handa Championships, here.
Sharma opened with a birdie on his first hole as he started from the tenth hole. He added a birdie on first, which was his 10th hole and had one more birdie later on. However in between he had double bogeys on second and fourth and another bogey for a disappointing start.
Andy Sullivan and Kim Yeongsu posted opening 63s to lead the way after the first round. Sullivan, who had four wins on the DP World Tour, had eight birdies and one bogey, while South Korean Kim turned in a bogey free first round containing seven birdies to join Sullivan on seven under par.
Swede Alexander Bjrk, Canada’s Aaron Cockerill and South African Deon Germishuys were one shot behind the leaders in a three-way tie for third.
Home favourites Keita Nakajima, Yosuke Asaji and Ryutaro Nagano were on five under alongside South African Jacques Kruyswijk, Swede Sebastian Sderberg, Brad Kennedy of Australia, New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier and Marcel Schneider of Germany.
They ended the day tied for sixth, just two shots adrift of the early pace set by Sullivan and Yeong-su.
Evergreen Australian Brad Kennedy also made his presence felt with an opening 65, joining the Japanese trio to keep the JGTO flag flying high against their rivals from the DP World Tour in the ground-breaking tournament jointly sanctioned by the JGTO and DP World Tour for the first time in Japan.
Nakajima will be pumped up to keep the solid run going in the early season after starting strongly with a tied-eighth at the Token Homemate Cup and finishing solo ninth at the Kansai Open last week.
With a two-year exemption on the World Tour up for grabs this week, Nakajima knows exactly what’s at stake.