Shubhankar Sharma and Jordan Smith lead Irish Open as Rory McIlroy slips back

Home > Tours > DP World Tour > Shubhankar Sharma and Jordan Smith lead Irish Open as Rory McIlroy slips back
McIlroy is eight shots behind the 13-under-par tally recorded by the pacesetters.
Posted on
September 8, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

India’s Shubhankar Sharma and England’s Jordan Smith share the halfway lead in the Horizon Irish Open as home favourites Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy experienced contrasting finishes at The K Club.

Sharma raced to the turn in just 28 shots on his way to a second round of 66, setting what looked an imposing target of 13 under par in sweltering conditions.

Smith responded with seven birdies in the first 11 holes and took the outright lead with another on the 15th, but ran up a double bogey on the 17th before completing a 65 with a birdie on the last.

Shubhankar Sharma
Shubhankar Sharma plays out of a bunker on the 10th hole during day two of the 2023 Horizon Irish Open at The K Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

Lowry birdied the 17th and 18th to complete a second successive 68 and lie five shots off the pace, while McIlroy holed out from 116 yards for an eagle on the 16th but immediately gave both shots back with a double bogey on 17.

“I’m trying to think of the last time I made a double bogey, it’s been a few months and I’ve prided myself on really limiting my mistakes,” McIlroy said after a 70 left him eight shots off the lead.

“That was one that obviously got away from me and I need a good one tomorrow to get myself back into it. There’s low scores to be had on this golf course especially with how the conditions are.”

A birdie at the 16th sparked McIlroy’s victory surge the last time the Irish Open was staged at The K Club in 2016 and he added: “There’s something about that hole that brings out the best in me.

“It was a lovely pin for a wedge shot with that back stop and using the slope to bring the ball back. It’s always a bonus and a bit of luck when they go in the hole but it was a lovely shot.”

Lowry, who won the 2009 Irish Open when he was still an amateur, said: “I’ve a huge weekend ahead of me.

“I’ve obviously been very fortunate to win this tournament before but I’d love nothing more than the opportunity to do that again this weekend.

“Expectations are a tough thing in sport and we’re going to see that over the next two months with the rugby team (at World Cup), but I think you just have to get out of your own way and let yourself do what you do best.

“I’ve done that very well over the last two days and I just need to do that again over the weekend.”

The start of play had been delayed by 30 minutes due to fog, but Sharma quickly made up for lost time as he birdied seven of the first nine holes.

“I had nine single putts which was amazing, I don’t think I’ve done that before,” he said. “Everything was just flowing nicely, I was hitting it in the right spots and was really good inside 10 feet so it all came together.”

The 27-year-old won his first DP World Tour title in December 2017 and his second just two months later, but has not tasted victory since and has recorded only two top-10 finishes this season, although the most recent was in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

“I took a four-week break after the Open and was sick last week so spent most of the weekend sleeping on my couch, but I still have good memories from the Open so I am just trying to continue that form,” he added.

“I’m obviously very keen on getting back into the winner’s circle but it’ll happen when it happens.

Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith holes a birdie putt on the 15th green during day two of the 2023 Horizon Irish Open at The K Club (Brian Lawless/PA)

“I can only control the controllables, have a good positive mindset on the weekend and I’m sure it will happen soon rather than later.”

Sharma and Smith ended the day with a one-shot lead over England’s Ross Fisher, who carded a second consecutive 66, with Germany’s Hurly Long on 11 under and Scotland’s Calum Hill another stroke back after a remarkable 65.

Hill carded three eagles in the space of seven holes, holing from nine feet on the fourth, from 124 yards on the ninth and 35 feet on the 10th.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2Total
1SMITH, Jordan-136665131
SHARMA, Shubhankar-136566131
3FISHER, Ross-126666132
4LONG, Hurly-116766133
5HILL, Calum-106965134
6JAMIESON, Scott-96966135
MIGLIOZZI, Guido-96966135
SCHOTT, Freddy-97164135
9LOWRY, Shane-86868136
10SCRIVENER, Jason-76968137
BRUN, Julien-76770137
LAWRENCE, Thriston-77265137
FORREST, Grant-77067137
LANGASQUE, Romain-77166137
PARRY, John-76869137
ELVIRA, Nacho-77067137
GREEN, Gavin-76968137
SCHNEIDER, Marcel-76671137
LUITEN, Joost-76770137
20NØRGAARD, Niklas-66969138
LINDBERG, Mikael-66771138
LEE, Min Woo-67167138
SIEM, Marcel-67167138
FITZPATRICK, Alex-66969138
LARRAZÁBAL, Pablo-66969138
26COCKERILL, Aaron-57366139
HILLIER, Daniel-56871139
MCILROY, Rory-56970139
MERONK, Adrian-56970139
NORRMAN, Vincent-56871139
DETRY, Thomas-57168139
ZANOTTI, Fabrizio-56871139
DE JAGER, Louis-57267139
POWER, Mark-56871139
HIGA, Kazuki-57069139
36VON DELLINGSHAUSEN, Nicolai-46872140
MANSELL, Richard-46971140
RAI, Aaron-47070140
FOX, Ryan-47169140
VÄLIMÄKI, Sami-47169140
JOHANNESSEN, Kristian Krogh-46674140
DONALD, Luke-46872140
WARING, Paul-47169140
44WU, Ashun-36774141
PAVON, Matthieu-36873141
KJELDSEN, Søren-37071141
WIEBE, Gunner-36873141
BALDWIN, Matthew-37269141
SYME, Connor-36972141
GALLACHER, Stephen-37368141
HORSCHEL, Billy-36972141
LOMBARD, Zander-36774141
VAN ROOYEN, Erik-37170141
SÖDERBERG, Sebastian-36873141
HOSHINO, Rikuya-37269141
SHINKWIN, Callum-37269141
CLEMENTS, Todd-36972141
DANTORP, Jens-37170141
PAUL, Yannik-36873141
DEL REY, Alejandro-37566141
CAMPILLO, Jorge-37071141
62HELLIGKILDE, Marcus-27468142
EASTON, Bryce-27468142
LORENZO-VERA, Mike-27468142
GUERRIER, Julien-27171142
PURCELL, Conor-27468142
WALLACE, Matt-27171142
FIGUEIREDO, Pedro-27369142
OTAEGUI, Adrian-27171142
WANG, Jeunghun-26874142
DU PLESSIS, Hennie-26973142
PULKKANEN, Tapio-27072142
APHIBARNRAT, Kiradech-27072142
HUIZING, Daan-27072142
WILSON, Andrew-27666142
SCHMID, Matti-27468142
LAW, David-27072142
SOUTHGATE, Matthew-27270142
BACHEM, Nick-27072142
FORSSTRÖM, Simon-26973142
FERGUSON, Ewen-27072142
RAMSAY, Richie-27468142
BROWN, Daniel-26973142
TARRIO, Santiago-27072142
HARRINGTON, Padraig-27369142
MCKIBBIN, Tom-27270142
HOGE, Tom-27171142
HANNA, Chase-27468142
MORRISON, James-27270142
OLESEN, Thorbjørn-27171142
Projected Cut
91BESSELING, Wil-17073143
BJØRN, Thomas-16677143
HØJGAARD, Rasmus-17271143
BJÖRK, Alexander-17271143
PEPPERELL, Eddie-17172143
WARREN, Marc-17469143
KO, Jeong weon-17370143
VEERMAN, Johannes-17370143
NIENABER, Wilco-17271143
HIDALGO, Angel-16875143
BRADBURY, Dan-17370143
SCOTT, Adam-17370143
FREIBURGHAUS, Jeremy-17271143
104KAWAMURA, MasahiroPar7272144
HUNDEBØLL, OliverPar7470144
GERMISHUYS, DeonPar7074144
COLSAERTS, NicolasPar7371144
HATTON, TyrrellPar7569144
CROCKER, SeanPar7074144
110KINHULT, Marcus+17372145
SORDET, Clément+17471145
HISATSUNE, Ryo+17174145
ARMITAGE, Marcus+17471145
LEVY, Alexander+16976145
ARNAUS, Adri+17174145
ROZNER, Antoine+17471145
117RAVETTO, David+27472146
KIMSEY, Nathan+27670146
DONALDSON, Jamie+27373146
CATLIN, John+27274146
KIEFFER, Maximilian+26977146
WHITNELL, Dale+27175146
MOLINARI, Edoardo+27274146
SULLIVAN, Andy+27571146
GARCIA, Sebastian+27274146
SIMONSEN, Martin+27571146
BEKKER, Oliver+27274146
GAVINS, Daniel+27274146
WINTHER, Jeff+27175146
SADDIER, Adrien+27076146
VAN DRIEL, Darius+27076146
133GOUGH, John+37275147
LI, Haotong+37572147
VAN TONDER, Daniel+37572147
RITCHIE, JC+37572147
137NEMECZ, Lukas+47474148
SCIOT-SIEGRIST, Robin+47573148
CHENGYAO, Ma+47771148
CABRERA BELLO, Rafa+47474148
141LEE, Craig+57475149
142STRYDOM, Ockie+67476150
WILSON, Oliver+67674150
MURPHY, John+67377150
145MAGUIRE, Alex (AM)+77675151
GANDAS, Manu+77378151
AXELSEN, John+77378151
JORDAN, Matthew+77774151
149LEE, Joshua+87379152
SAMOOJA, Kalle+87379152
151KIM, Yeongsu+97875153
152WALTERS, Justin+107876154
153LAGERGREN, Joakim+137681157
154CALDWELL, Jonathan+157683159
RETDWILLETT, Danny+676--
W/DDUBUISSON, Victor+577--
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