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Sharma finishes 44th, Coetzee wins fifth European Tour title

·2-min read

Vilamoura, Sep 14 (PTI) Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma once again allowed his gains to go waste with a bunch of bogeys as he carded an even par 71 in the final round to finish Tied-44th at the Portugal Masters here.

The 24-year-old Indian, going through one of the worst patches of his professional career, had four birdies, three of them in four holes between 11th and 14th, but gave them all away with four bogeys, two of which came on 16th and 17th holes.

South African George Coetzee displayed superb short game to card his third card of 66 in four days to hold off a strong chasing pack and win the 2020 Portugal Masters by two shots. It was his fifth European Tour title.

Coetzee, who started the day with a one hole advantage, ended a winner by two as Laurie Canter (66) was second, while Tommy Fleetwood (64) gave himself a brilliant final round before leaving for the US Open next week.

Fleetwood tied for third with Joakim Lagergren (65) and Japan's Masahiro Kawamura (70), who held sole lead at one point was fifth.

Sharma, who has made only two cuts in seven starts since the Hero Open on the UK Swing, had no less than 14 birdies – he had four or more birdies on second, third and final days, while the first day saw him land a rare albatross. But he also gave away 11 bogeys and two double bogeys.

Coetzee, 34, made his first birdie of the day from 20 feet on the difficult seventh before picking up another shot from a similar distance on the short eighth to get to 13-under and regain his one stroke lead.

After making another gain from nine feet at the 11th, Coetzee made key par putts on the 12th and 13th to remain in front as the chasing pack began to gather just behind him on an incredibly bunched leaderboard.

He then holed brilliant birdie putts at the 16th and 17th to move to 16 under par and give himself a two shot cushion heading to the 18th tee.

Coetzee saved his best drive until last and went on to make a nerveless par to win for the second week in a row, having also tasted victory at the Titleist Championship at Pretoria Country Club on the Sunshine Tour last week.

Englishman Laurie Canter finished alone in second on 14-under after he also made five birdies in a flawless 66, while his countryman and World Number 16 Tommy Fleetwood was another stroke back in a tie for third with Swede Joakim Lagergren. PTI Cor ATK ATK