MEXICO CITY – Talk about putting the world in a World Golf Championship.
How’s this for a leaderboard midway through the WGC-Mexico Championship:
There’s Shubhankar Sharma from India on top by two strokes.
Then comes Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello along with Xander Schauffele, an American born of a German/French father and a Taiwanese/Japanese mother.
Another Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat will be among the final groups on Saturday as will South African Louis Oosthuizen.
From there, the Americans fall in line.
And golf’s multi-cultural revolution seems alive and well here in the traffic-snarled mega metropolis of Mexico City.
That’s part of the idea behind these World Golf Championship events, which were dominated for more than a decade by Tiger Woods, the self-described Cablinasian.
If you’re wondering what you need to know about Sharma – and it’s a fair guess you are – here’s a crash course.
He’s a 21-year old who has climbed to No. 75 in the world and he leads the European Tour’s Race to Dubai having already won twice on that Tour. Now he finds himself nervously excited about playing against guys he’s more familiar watching when PGA Tour broadcasts air at midnight in India.
Sharma has shown no stage fright, shooting 65-66 but it hasn’t necessarily been as easy as it has looked. When he realized Jordan Spieth was hitting balls behind him on the range, Sharma paused for a moment to watch. When Spieth left, Dustin Johnson moved in beside Sharma.
“It’s a total dream come true,” Sharma said.
So much has happened so quickly, Sharma isn’t entirely sure where he will be playing most of his golf in the future. His goal is to play the PGA Tour and that may soon become a reality.
All he knows for sure is his next start will be in the Hero India Open next week on his home course. That’s Mexico City to New York to New Delhi, starting Sunday night with a Tuesday arrival.
No big deal. He’s 21 and on a roll.
“I don’t get jet lag,” Sharma said.