Shubhankar-mania is real.
21-year-old Indian sensation Shubhankar Sharma fired a second-round 66 to take the lead at the WGC-Mexico City on Friday. He leads 2018 Masters Champion Sergio Garcia, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Amiercan Xander Schauffele by two strokes apiece.
For the second straight day, Sharma dominated the back nine, recording five birdies to record a 31. He eagled No. 1 for the second straight day but gave both shots back with bogeys on No. 2 and No. 3. He was at even par through 10 before catching fire.
I’m really happy,” said Sharma. “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.”
Garcia actually shot a better round, with a 65 punctuated by a birdie-eagle combination on No. 10 and 11. Garcia cleaned up every bogey from his round after recording four while still shooting a 68 on Thursday.
Jumping into the top 5 on Friday were a pair of familiar American names – world #1 Dustin Johnson and the resurgent Bubba Watson.
Both men shot a 66 to climb to 7-under and a tie for fifth with Day 1 leader Louis Oosthuizen, who slid back from his opening round 64 with a Day Two 71.
Sharma is attempting to become just the second player to win his debut WGC event, following Russell Knox, who did so at the 2015 HSBC Champions.