Sharma upstages big names to take halfway lead in Mexico

Shubhankar Sharma during the second round of the World Golf Championships

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.

Last season's breakout performer Xander Schauffele - the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello are tied for second at nine under through 36 holes.

Those wins have put Sharma top of the European Tour's Race to Dubai, while he has also risen to 75th in the official world golf ranking.

Schauffele, a two-time victor as a rookie past year on the PGA Tour, has managed to go bogey-free at Chapultepec over two rounds, remarkable because the poa greens following a week of rain have been bouncing more than rolling, especially in the afternoon.

Success has come quick for the youngest player in the field.

'To be honest, I'm actually relaxed now, he said.

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The unheralded Indian golfer soared into a two-stroke lead following the second round in Mexico City on Friday.

"It's really been an experience and I just topped it off by playing well in the first two days so I'm really happy with everything".

Sharma hit a 3-wood on his opening tee shot to 2 feet for a tap-in eagle and overcame consecutive three-putt bogeys.

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

'I'm very confident with my driver at the moment.

"I couldn't ask for anything better", he said. Otherwise I just get the ball in play all day and it was great to finish with three birdies in a row. "I've got a nice little cut going and it's nice to be able to just aim left and swing away". He shot 31 on the back, finishing with a gap wedge he hammered to 10 feet for a final birdie, and he walked off the green to a big ovation.

"I haven't been consistent with my putting", Cabrera Bello said.

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