Sharma upstages big names, emerges leader after 2 rounds

England's Chris Paisley also enjoyed a good round

England's Chris Paisley also enjoyed a good round

India's Shubhankar Sharma hit a superb five-under-par 66 to move two shots clear at the halfway stage on his WGC Championship debut in Mexico City.

The 21-year-old - a two-time victor on the European Tour this season - carded a five-under-par 66 to move clear of Masters champion Garcia, Xander Schauffele and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.

Xander Schauffele, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia are two strokes back at 9-under par, with defending champion Dustin Johnson four shots back at 7-under par.

A late eagle boosted smooth-swinging Louis Oosthuizen to the first-round lead as a diverse mix of players lined up close behind the South African at the WGC-Mexico Championship on Thursday.

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Sharma entered the week already ranked first on the European Tour after two early-season victories but it would be fair to suggest he was not a name on everyone's lips pre-tournament. "On the safer side, not too many birdies but no bogeys".

Success has come quickly for Shubhankar Sharma, and the Mexico Championship is no exception.

"I'm very confident with my driver at the moment", Oosthuizen said. Things are starting to heat up in Mexico City.

"It's the biggest tournament I've played in by a long stretch", Paisley said.

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"I'm really happy. I couldn't be in a better situation".

Hardly anyone knew much about Schauffele previous year before he played well at the U.S. Open, and then won the Greenbrier Classic and Tour Championship.

Former world number one Spieth posted a second-round 67 and the American star said: "You feel like you need to make a lot of birdies, but I believe [the winning score] will be somewhere around that again, around 14 under again". Otherwise I just get the ball in play all day and it was great to finish with three birdies in a row. It's my first WGC and I was happy that I'll play four days because I missed the cut in the last two events that I played.

Sharma hit a 3-wood that landed on the green and settled 2 feet away for an eagle on the opening hole at Chapultepec Golf Club.

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However, he reeled off five unanswered birdies on the back nine - including a hat-trick over the last three holes - to continue a remarkable first WGC appearance. However, he rebounded on the back nine with a bogey-free five-under 31.

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