Shubhankar Sharma makes waves in WGC-Mexico Championship

World No 3 Justin Thomas moved closer to the leaders in Mexico on Saturday     
              World No 3 Justin Thomas moved closer to the leaders
World No 3 Justin Thomas moved closer to the leaders in Mexico on Saturday World No 3 Justin Thomas moved closer to the leaders

05 March, 2018

Shubhankar Sharma continued to upstage the biggest names in golf by bravely maintaining his overnight two-shot lead following the third round of the United States dollars 10 million World Golf Championships here, venturing into a territory hitherto unknown to Indian golfers.

Sharma had a chip-in eagle at the first hole (his 10th) and added four birdies on the Club de Golf Chapultepec course, which at its highest point is 7,835 feet (2,388 metres) above sea level, and plays much shorter than its 7,345 yards.

Sharma's WGC debut comes after European Tour wins last December at the Joburg Open and last month in Malaysia at the Maybank Championship. A victory in this World Golf Championship would be his third in his last eight starts and likely put him in the top 25.

Garcia also kept the pressure on, offsetting two bogeys with four birdies for a 69 that left him tied for second place at 11 under.

Going into the final round, world No. 1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson headed a group on 203 that also included last year's PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, Pat Perez and Brian Harman. "I found something in the practice rounds and I'm happy I'm rolling in some good putts".

Mickelson, a five-time major victor, has two TOUR victories for every year that Sharma has been alive, but none since the 2013 Open Championship. I just got off to a great start.

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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. As Hatton and Thomas showed, there can be a lot of movement in one day.

"Winning is everything. I mean, there is no better feeling than when you think you sink that winning putt".

Kang dropped her first shot of the tournament on the 15th after going 50 holes without making a bogey, then made another mistake on 18. He had to settle for a 68, though he still was just three shots behind.

Justin Thomas also has new life after setting the course record with a 62, breaking by one the mark Jordan Spieth set previous year.

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. "I'm just happy I moved up the leaderboard quite a bit".

Sharma had never seen such large crowds following him, and it's still hard to digest seeing so many players he only knew from the middle of the night in Chandigarh, when he would stay up to watch the majors. Watching the shot called by an energetic Spanish announcer.

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