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Dec 10, 5:56 PM EST

India's Shubhankar Sharma leads suspended Joburg Open


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India's Shubhankar Sharma leads suspended Joburg Open

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- India's Shubhankar Sharma had a four-stroke lead in the Joburg Open with 11 holes left Sunday when lightning and heavy rain forced the suspension of play.

Making his 10th European Tour start, Sharma was 22 under at Randpark. He had a 61 on Friday on the Bushwillow Course and shot a 66 on Saturday on the Firethorn Course to take a five-stroke lead into the final round. On Sunday, Sharma birdied two of the first seven holes at Fitethorn before play was stopped for the day.

"I had to cancel my flight tickets today but that was an easy thing to do considering the position I'm in," Sharma said.

South Africa's Erik van Rooyen was second. Play was suspended with Sharma on the eighth green, and Van Rooyen looking at a tap-in birdie on the ninth after birdieing four of the first eight.

Forty-two players were unable to complete the round.

"I'm going to treat it like another day," Sharma said. "I'm going to do the same things which I've been doing the last four days. It is not frustrating, but you get into a groove when you start and you don't want to come off. I saw the clouds coming on the seventh hole and I was praying we could finish, but we can't help it. I'm playing well so I want to continue doing that."

The top three players who are not already exempt will earn spots in the British Open.

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