Good and satisfying to play a bogey free round, says Shubhankar Sharma

Koepka is two shots off the clubhouse lead after his two-under 69

Koepka is two shots off the clubhouse lead after his two-under 69

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma was all praise for his playing partner Brooks Koepka, saying the World No 1 has an uncluttered mind and remains an inspiration for golfers like him. Koepka shot three-under 68 with four birdies and one bogey, while the third player in the group, Louis Oosthuizen, the Africa No. 1, also shot 70. "The major takeaway from today was I managed to stay bogey-free as I made a few crucial par putts coming in especially the ones from 14 to 16", said Sharma. None more than Rory McIlroy, a big pre-tournament favourite. He started with a quadruple-bogey eight and finished with a seven on the par-four 18th. And then that up-and-down birdie on 18 was nice, too.

"It's a little disappointing, two-under, but at the same time I'm close enough where if I play a good weekend I'll be in with a chance", the 29-year-old American added.

The 2013 Open victor, Phil Mickelson went to five-over 76 and three-time Open victor, Tiger Woods, who won the Masters for his first Major since the US Open in 2008, was struggling at seven-over 78.

"You have to wait your turn, eventually you'll have a few chances and I did in the last six holes".

"I think a lot has happened in his life since then". I was on the left side of the green, hit it up to about 5 feet and missed that.

"If I can just make some putts I could have very easily been 10-under and maybe more. It's not easy out there, so pretty happy with it", Sharma told PTI.

"15 was the longest, 14 and 15 were about 5 feet". "So I was in the center of the fairway, hit a bad second shot and it was a tough up-and-down from there".

"I haven't made a putt all week, so I just need to figure that out", said Koepka. "After that (birdie on 13) I kind of was beginning to read the line properly and made a few crucial ones coming in", Sharma said.

"He just played solid". He's very calm on the course.

"But I guess for not making anything, you can't really expect to be in the lead, so to be probably four or five back, it's okay". He gets on the ball and gets on very quickly. Sometimes I felt like I hit good putts and they just didn't go in and other times it was just awful putts.