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India's Shubhankar hangs onto lead in Mexico

05 March, 2018, 00:27 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Shubhankar Sharma

Thomas holed out for eagle from 199 yards at the par-4 18th hole Sunday at Chapultepec Golf Club to shoot a final-round, 7-under 64 and grab the clubhouse lead at 16 under at the WGC-Mexico Championship. For all the unknowns that come with Sharma, there's nothing but proven products lurking behind him. "I just wanted the first round to get out of the way", said Sharma, who has been hooked on golf ever since he was introduced to the game by his father as a six-year-old.

This weekend was Sharma's PGA Tour debut.

Overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen (71), World No 1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson (66), two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson (66), fellow Asian Kiradech Aphinbarnrat (69) were among those tied-5th and four behind Sharma. I rolled it good.

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After his only bogeys at the second and third holes, Sharma had back-to-back birdies at the par-5 11th from 10 feet and the par-4 12th from 23 feet.

In the morning five-time Major victor and Hall of famer, Mickelson, initially mistook him for a fan or a journalist and waved Shubhankar off at the practice green before the start of the third round, thinking he was a member of the media. And it wasn't long enough for DJ, who made a decision to take a ridiculous line off the tee during Friday's second round. "Then he just realised and said, 'So sorry, I thought you were media, ' and he said hi, I said hi". "Phil is a legend", he said.

Despite two European Tour victories already this season ― in South Africa and Malaysia ― it is fair to say a Sharma victory on Sunday would reverberate around the golf world.

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Mickelson, who is coming off his most consistent stretch in years, having finished inside the top 10 in his last three starts, has played un-Phil-like golf for the first three days. The win at the Joburg also qualified him for the 2018 Open Championship. And then he made a few putts and then he came back to me and said, "Have a good day". "So I'll get that 'W.' I don't know if it's tomorrow, I don't know when, but it will be soon, and when I do, I think I'll start to peel off a few". It went on until 6:00 in the morning back home. In his biggest test yet, the current No. 1 on the European Tours Race to Dubai and Asian Tours Habitat for Humanity standings will be grouped with five-time major victor Mickelson and Englands Hatton as he bids to become the youngest player to win a World Golf Championships tournament and only the second Asian after Hideki Matsuyama of Japan to do so.

He could also drastically change the narrative, from who is Shubhankar Sharma to what will he do next?

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