Monday, 11 December 2017
Patricia Crowson, Erick Van Rooyen, Shubankar and Shaun Norris  (Getty Images)
Patricia Crowson, Erick Van Rooyen, Shubankar and Shaun Norris (Getty Images)

Shubhankar Sharma and Erik van Rooyen will make their Open Championship debuts in July after finishing first and second at the Joburg Open.

With three places at the oldest Major Championship up for grabs for the top three players not already exempt, Indian Sharma and South Africa's Van Rooyen entered day five of the weather-affected event as big favourites to seal their spot in Scotland.

Sharma was four shots clear of Van Rooyen at the top of the leaderboard, with the man in second then four shots ahead of the rest of the field.

The 21 year old would emerge victorious at 23 under, with Van Rooyen finishing three shots behind, but the battle for the third spot at Carnoustie Golf Links would be hotly-contested, with South Africa's Shaun Norris eventually emerging.

Norris - who made his Major debut last season at Royal Birkdale - began the day at 13 under but made birdies on the 12th, 14th, 17th and 18th to sign for a 65 and set the clubhouse target at 17 under.

Finn Tapio Pulkkanen had started the day a shot ahead of Norris and made a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th to finish alongside the 35 year old, but lost out due to sitting eight places lower in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Shubhankar Sharma

"Playing in the Open is everyone’s dream. Personally it is my favourite Major Championship. I’ve watched it every year on television and to be playing in it next year is absolutely fantastic."

Erik van Rooyen

"I’m obviously extremely happy because I’m playing my first Open this coming year, so I’m really stoked but I don’t think anyone wants to finish second. Sharma played some incredible golf so hats off to him, he did really, really well. I tried to put some pressure on him but couldn’t quite get it going on the back nine the way I would have liked but all credit to him because he played some fantastic golf. He is definitely one to watch for the future."

Shaun Norris

"For a South African golfer, it’s a dream to be playing in the Open Championship at Carnoustie next July. Last year I experienced the Open Championship with my family and I look forward to doing it again. The Open Championship is steeped in history and tradition, you just have to look at the names on the Claret Jug to see what great golfers have won this championship. Carnoustie is a wonderful venue where Padraig Harrington won in 2008 and it will be a great test of golf come next July. I’m really looking forward to the challenge."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SHARMA, ShubhankarIND18-23
2VAN ROOYEN, ErikRSA18-20
T3NORRIS, ShaunRSA18-17
T3PULKKANEN, TapioFIN18-17
5ARMITAGE, MarcusENG18-15
T6HANSEN, Joachim B.DEN18-13

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