Khalin Joshi, Kartik Sharma earn Asian Tour cards

NewsDrum Desk
22 Jan 2023

Hua Hin (Thailand), Jan 22 (PTI) India's Khalin Joshi and Kartik Sharma grabbed two of the 35 cards on offer at the five-round 90-hole Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage, ensuring themselves a fair number of starts on the Tour in 2023.

The Indian duo totalled 9-under for five rounds and were tied 26th at Lake View Resort and Golf Club.

It was a long test over 90 holes with more than 240 players starting out. The top 140 and ties played after the first two rounds.

A total of 13 Indians started out in the 234-player field and nine players made the first cut applied after 36 holes and then just two Indians -- Joshi and Sharma -- were left among the top-70 and ties.

Australian Jack Thompson graduated with first class honours after winning the Final Stage by two shots over countryman John Lyras and China's Bai Zhengkai. Thompson, a professional for just two years, closed with a five-under-par 66 for a five-round total of 22 under.

Joshi, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour at the Panasonic Open in 2018, shifted gears when it mattered the most with closing rounds of 66-67 on the fourth and fifth days of the five-day Final Stage to get a card back on to the Asian Tour.

Joshi (72-70-71-66-67) was way down in tied 64th and tied 69th places after the second and third rounds but fought back with a 66 in fourth round as he moved up to tied 40th and then had another fine 4-under 67 with six birdies against two bogeys to finish at 9-under and take a card.

Sharma, who had four rounds in the 60s and was well-placed at tied seventh, slipped on the final day. His first four rounds were 69-69-68-66 but had a scare on the fifth day. He bogeyed fifth, sixth and eighth and then dropped a double bogey on 17th as he shot 74.

With the last cards being handed out at 8-under, it was a close shave for Joshi and Sharma. PTI Cor AH AH

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