Shubhankar Sharma makes waves in WGC-Mexico Championship
- Author: Tabitha Byrd Mar 05, 2018,
Mar 05, 2018, 0:08
At just 21 years of age and the youngest player in the field, Shubhankar Sharma, with his caddie at his side, approached Phil Mickelson, the oldest player in the field at 47, to introduce themselves.
In his first appearance in a World Golf Championships event, Shubhankar added a five-under-par 66 to his opening round 65 to set the pace at 11-under 131 at Club de Golf Chapultepec.
The Club de Golf Chapultepec features a drivable par 4 to start, but the par-4 second, although not long by today's standards, was not created to be reached in one shot.
That left him 18 holes away from capping off his unbelievable rise.
Sharma was outside the world's top 450 when he won the Joburg Open in December, but proved that was no fluke with a second European Tour title in the Maybank Championship in Malaysia last month.
He is two ahead of some of the biggest names in contemporary golf on a crowded leaderboard.
The two will play in the final group along with England's Tyrrell Hatton (64) on Sunday.
Tommy Fleetwood leads the European Tour's Race to Dubai, right? "I'm very happy with that".
He was at 13-under 200.More news: These Companies Have Cut Ties With the NRA
It will undoubtedly go down as one of the most spectacular putts of the year.
"It's been a long time since my game's been back to this point", Mickelson said. "I'm just trying to hit the fairways, trying to hit the greens".
Schauffele, the US PGA Tour's 2017 Rookie of the Year, is the only player with no bogeys after 36 holes, having opened with a 65 and followed with a 68. "I made a few mistakes on the greens but the greens are tough this week so I think everyone's making a few mistakes".
Hatton went out in 30 and kept a clean card on another warm day at 7,800 feet above sea level. "Otherwise I just got the ball in play all day and it was great to finish with three birdies in a row", said Sharma. It was his only non-par on the front nine, where he shot 33. He had to settle for a 68, though he still was just three shots behind.
On Thursday following a 72 that Thomas said was "probably the worst I've ever felt over the ball in my life", last week's victor at the Honda Classic was back in familiar form with a course-record 62 on Day 3 that lifted him into the top 10. Even then, his goal was to get to 10 under by the end of the tournament.
However the Greystones man was 17 shots off Sharma coming into the third round and, though a 72 was his best round of the weekend so far, he is now 20 off the pace on seven-over-par.
Spieth birdied three of his last four holes and was six behind.
In fact, here's him talking about it some more... Watching the shot called by an energetic Spanish announcer.
Sunday is a final exam of another variety.