India's Sharma closes strong to grab WGC Mexico lead

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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 Thai star briefly led the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship after 10 holes of his second round at the Club Golf de Chapultepec but found himself on the bogey train with three dropped shots over his last eight holes.

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

Ten players were within four shots of the lead going into the weekend, a group that includes defending champion Dustin Johnson, who holed a wedge from 112 yards for eagle on the ninth hole and shot a 66.

Despite recent victories in South Africa and Malaysia, and leading the European Tour's Race to Dubai standings, Sharma has yet to qualify for the first major of the year.

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Starting his day from the 10th tee, Sharma birdied 11 and 12 from 13 and two feet respectively before rolling in a tricky 15-footer for his third birdie on 18.

"It's the biggest tournament I've played in by a long stretch", Paisley said. "I just wanted the first round to get out of the way", said Sharma, who has been hooked on golf ever since he was introduced to the game by his father as a six-year-old. "I couldn't be in a better situation".

"I'm really happy that I'm playing at such a high level and playing with all these great players". As soon as I hit it I knew I hit a good shot. "Let's hope I make a lot of (birdies and eagles) and I can donate as much money as possible". You really need that to have to go low, especially on a course like this. "But I'm very happy with the way I've managed myself and just looking forward to the next two days". I drove it well. I just try and not think of anything before I start.

Now ranked 75th in the world, he needs to climb into the top 50 in the next four weeks, or better yet win a tournament, to qualify for Augusta National.



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