Indian golfer Sharma upstages big names to take halfway lead in Mexico

Indian golfer Sharma upstages big names to take halfway lead in Mexico

Indian golfer Sharma upstages big names to take halfway lead in Mexico

At 7-under 135, Kiradech shares fifth place with amongst others, defending champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, double Masters Tournament victor Bubba Watson and CIMB Classic champion Pat Perez, four back of halfway leader Shubhankar Sharma of India.

The 21-year-old, playing in the last group alongside Malaysia's Gavin Green, was beaming from ear to ear after keeping the bogeys of the card which included an eagle and four birdies at the Club Golf de Chapultepec.

He was at 11-under 131, two ahead of Masters champion Sergio Garcia, Xander Schauffele and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Leader Louis Oosthuizen headed Xander Schauffele, 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.

He has won twice on the European Tour this season and is out to improve from his current 75th in the world to a top 50 spot that would see him into the Masters.

"I've been swinging it pretty good the last two or three weeks".

"I played so well, and the bogeys that I made today were just three-putts".

Having made a ideal 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. Otherwise I just get the ball in play all day and it was great to finish with three birdies in a row. "I feel like my ball-striking can do most of the talking".

Sharma has an opportunity to become only the second player to win his US PGA Tour debut after Jim Benepe at the 1988 Western Open.

Garcia impressed as he moved within striking distance after 36 holes thanks to Friday's 65. "On the safer side, not too many birdies but no bogeys".

"I have a lot of confidence going into the weekend", Johnson said. "I was just short of the green and had a very easy chip shot (for eagle)", he said.

Top-ranked defending champion Dustin Johnson eagled from 112 yards at the par-4 ninth, landing the ball beyond the hole with a 60-degree wedge and backspinning it into the cup. I couldn't have hit it in a better place.

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