Another day at The K Club, another day of low scoring and the field took advantage.
After opening the Horizon Irish Open with a 7-under 65 on Thursday and sleeping on the 18-hole solo lead, Shubhankar Sharma was worse on Friday, shooting a 6-under 66 and is joined atop the leaderboard by Jordan Smith at 13 under.
“It was a really fast start,” Sharma told media in Kildare, Ireland. “Very early morning start for us, so I was a bit sleepy in the morning. I managed to make a lot of putts on the front nine. I had nine single putts which was great. I don’t think I’ve done that before.
“Everything just went nicely. I hit it in the right spots and I was really good within ten feet. So it all came together.”
Irish Open: Full leaderboard
Smith, after a first-round 66, fired a 7-under 65 that included nine birdies and a double bogey on the par-4 17th. The Englishman, who won the Portugal Masters last year for his second DP World Tour victory, tied for 20 at last week’s European Masters.
Ross Fisher (6-under 66) is alone in third at 12-under, Hurly Long (6-under 66) is in solo-four at 11-under, while Calum Hill (7-under 65) is fifth at 10-under.
As for the big names, Shane Lowry (4-under 68) is solo ninth at 8 under, five back, and Rory McIlroy is tied for 26th at 5 under, eight back.
The shot of the day came from the Northern Irishman when he drained his 116-yard approach to the par-5 16th for eagle.
Coverage of the Irish Open continues Saturday morning on Golf Channel from 7:30 AM ET to 12:30 PM ET.