Sharma fires 65 for tied 2nd at WGC-Mexico Championship

Arnold Nichols
March 4, 2018

"I'm very confident with my driver at the moment", Oosthuizen said.

He headed Xander Schauffele, Shubhankar Sharma and Chris Paisley by a stroke on a day when defending champion Dustin Johnson hit a 69 that included a near ace at the 17th, his ball landing beyond the pin and spinning back nearly into the hole.

Johnson, 33, has enjoyed plenty of success at WGC events and first won this tournament in 2015, when it was held at Trump National Doral in Miami.

Englishman Paisley fired seven birdies and a solitary bogey to card an opening six-under-par 65 at Chapultepec Golf Club and end the day just a shot behind leader Oosthuizen.

He 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.

"It's the biggest tournament I've played in by a long stretch", the Briton said. "I really kind of started on Tuesday, wasn't swinging it very well, and then yesterday I just was hitting it bad".

Among the other top players in the field this week are world number two Jon Rahm, who finished third here a year ago, and reigning Player of the Year Justin Thomas, fresh from his Sunday triumph at the Honda Open and showing no signs of slowing down. I like the course, it kind of suits my strengths.

"I'm surprised I shot six-under".

World Super 6 Perth victor Kiradech Aphibarnrat shares sixth place alongside Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain while countryman Jon Rahm is alone in 7th place at 4-under.

India's Shubhankar Sharma, a two-time victor on the European Tour this season who is out to improve from his current 75th in the world to a top-50 spot that would see him into the Masters, was five under through No. 16 when play was halted by lightning, with world No. 2 Jon Rahm alone in the clubhouse on four-under 67.

World Number 1 Dustin Johnson, who is back defending his title also sent the announcers into hysteria as he came agonisingly close to holing out on the par 3 17th.

However, two more bogeys on his back nine left him floundering at four over before late birdies at his 15th and 18th limited the damage.

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