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Sharma Surges into WGC – Mexico lead

Shubhankar Sharma. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tournament: WGC - Mexico Championship

Venue: Club de Golf Chapultepec Prize fund: $10,000,000 Hashtag: #WGCMexico

Round Two Report

Shubhankar Sharma's remarkable start to the 2018 campaign continued at the WGC – Mexico Championship as the Indian claimed the halfway lead at Chapultepec Golf Club.

Having won the Joburg Open in December, Sharma then clinched the Maybank Championship in Malaysia and currently leads the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

The 21 year old began his maiden World Golf Championships with a round of 65 on Thursday and stormed home in 31 to follow up with a five under par 66.

At 11 under for the week, Sharma leads by two from Spaniards Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello, as well as American Xander Schauffele.

Garcia eagled the 11th and also had four birdies in a round of 65, while his compatriot Cabrera Bello birdied four of his first six holes. The Ryder Cup star dropped shots at the eighth and 17th, but an eagle at the 15th from 30 feet secured a round of 67.

Schauffele goes into the weekend bogey-free after the 24 year old carded three birdies in a 68.

Player Quotes

Shubhankar Sharma: “I'm really happy – I couldn't be in a better situation. I played so well, and the bogeys that I made today were just three-putts. Otherwise I just get the ball in play all day and it was great to finish with three birdies in a row.

“I thought about nothing, I just wanted to have fun. 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. Even though I missed the cuts, I knew I was playing well. So I just wanted to have fun, and yeah, I've had a lot of fun.

“I worked all my life to come and play at a high stage like this. You have to expect great things from yourself if you want to play at a high stage.”

Sergio Garcia: “I think I played really, really well. Obviously the greens get tricky, they got a little bumpy, and some good opportunities there on the back nine didn't want to go in. But I probably made the toughest putt I had all day on 18, so that was nice.

“The Mexican people, they've been amazing, welcoming, just unbelievable like last year. I do feel like I'm kind of at home. We speak the same language and everything, a lot of support. Also it's the kind of golf courses I like. You know, Valderrama is my favourite golf course, and has small greens. Sawgrass, one of my favourite golf courses, has small greens.

“So I do like these kind of courses better, and when it gets a bit firmer like it's getting and a bit more challenging, I do feel that, even though it's not easy, I do feel a bit more comfortable. I feel like my ball-striking can do most of the talking and that's what I was able to do today.”

Rafa Cabrera Bello: “I felt I've been playing very good golf and making some putts as well. I'm not leading but I'm right up there, so in a great position for the weekend. The WGCs are a little different: the fact that there's a smaller field and, generally, you normally have the majority of the top 50 players in the world, so you know you have to play really good to be up there. I mean, you really get the feel of the world championships.

“I’m just going to stick to my game plan. It's worked pretty good these first two days. I'm playing very good, I'm happy with how I'm hitting the ball off the tee, my irons, my short game as well, so I don't see any reason why I couldn't continue with this with my game.”

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The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2018, the European Tour International Schedule will feature a minimum of 47 tournaments in 30 countries, including eight Rolex Series events.

Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 26 Members celebrate a total of 52 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.

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