An unfamiliar name leads the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship, as 21-year-old Shubhankar Sharma leads at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Sharma, who is from India, is making both his PGA Tour and World Golf Championships debut...and he leads against the best players in the world.
Of course we don't know if Shubhankar Sharma is going to hang on for a most impressive win, but you're probably wondering who Shubhankar Sharma is and how he got in this field.
Who is Shubhankar Sharma?
Shubhankar Sharma got into the WGC-Mexico Championship on the basis of his position in the Race to Dubai on the European Tour, where he has already won twice this season. He managed to win the Joburg Open in South Africa in his third start of the season, surprising many in the sport back in December 2017. Just three starts and less than two months later, Sharma struck again, winning the Maybank Championship in Malaysia against a stronger field with a final-round 62.
So far this season, Sharma has won every third start, and the WGC-Mexico Championship is his ninth of the season. However, before those wins, Sharma's results vary wildly. He finished T-10 in Hong Kong to start the season, but he has no other top 25 finishes in his other five starts. In fact, he missed the cut in his prior two starts, so Sharma was happy to be guaranteed four rounds in Mexico City.
"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," he said Friday. "Even though I missed the cuts, but I knew I was playing well. So I just wanted to have fun, and yeah, I've had a lot of fun."
Sharma is thought the favorite for the Indian Open next week, as it's played at his home, DLF Golf and Country Club, in New Delhi.
But this week, he could book a ticket to the Masters with a win here, propelling himself into the top 50 in the world, too.
"I know I need a good finish this week," he said. "So I'm just trying to keep my eye on the ball and try to do my best."