Oosthuizen holds early Mexico lead

Oosthuizen holds early Mexico lead

India's Shubhankar Sharma surprised a few people, but not himself, as he upstaged the biggest names in golf for a two-shot halfway lead at the WGC-Mexico Championship yesterday.

Fifth place finishes at Abu Dhabi and Dubai saw him punch his ticket to his first elite World Golf Championships event at the Club de Golf Chapultepec.Paisley opened with back-to-back birdies and added two more at the fifth and sixth, seizing a share of the lead on five-under with a birdie at the 10th, where he rolled in a 10-footer.

At 11-under, he was two shots ahead of reigning Masters champion, Sergio Garcia, 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Among those is overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen, defending champion and World Number One Dustin Johnson and Thai star and Perth World Super 6 champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Though unheralded entering the exclusive tournament, Sharma - the 75th-ranked player in the world - has been in great form this season.

Starting his day from the 10th tee, Sharma birdied 11 and 12 from 13 and two feet respectively before rolling in a tricky 15-footer for his third birdie on 18. "I'm really enjoying it and that's when I'm able to play my best".

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"I just kept the ball in play", Sharma said. As soon as I hit it I knew I hit a good shot.

Forty-five of the world's top 50 players are in the 64-man field competing for a prize fund of £7.2m and winner's cheque of £1.2m.

"I didn't really put any pressure on myself before I came here", Sharma said. Played so well, and the bogeys that I made today were just three putts.

Having made a flawless start by driving to a couple of feet on the reachable first and converting for eagle, Sharma three-putted the second and third for consecutive bogeys. He won the European Tour's Maybank Championship and Joburg Open.

Johnson shot a five-under-par 66, while he holed out for eagle on the par-four ninth hole. "I was just short of the green and had a very easy chip shot (for eagle)", he said. "Was pretty happy with the way I drove the ball and I think that was the key".

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