Shubhankar Sharma surges to tied-second in dream World Golf Championship debut

Shubhankar Sharma surges to tied-second in dream World Golf Championship debut

Leishman, one of four Australians in the field, trails first round leader Louis Oosthuizen by five after signing for a 2-under 69 marred by a dropped shot at the 17th hole.

Oosthuizen carded five birdies and an eagle at Chapultepec Golf Club to set the clubhouse target at seven under, with Paisley one of three players a stroke off the pace on his World Golf Championship debut.

Missing from that United Nations lineup was world No. 1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson, No. 3 and the PGA Tour's most recent victor Justin Thomas, No. 4 Jordan Spieth and No. 5 Justin Rose. The last six winners of this event, which moved to Mexico from Doral past year, include Johnson (who has won twice), Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods (a seven-time champion) and Rose.

Chris Paisley of England, who followed up his first European Tour victory with top 5s in the tour's strongest events in the Middle East, was atop the leaderboard for much of a warm Thursday afternoon at Chapultepec Golf Club until a late bogey.

Johnson finished with six birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey six at the par-four 14th.

More news: Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott step out together in new photos

"I gave myself a lot of chances but they're tough greens to putt on and to hole as many putts as I did, I'm delighted".

World Super 6 Perth victor Kiradech Aphibarnrat shares sixth place alongside Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain while countryman Jon Rahm is alone in 7th place at 4-under.

"I didn't want to come here and just be happy to be part of it and just make up the numbers".

Paisley won the South African Open in January - his first European Tour victory - and followed up with consecutive top-five finishes against strong worldwide fields in the Middle East. "It's just one of those days where kind of everything wasn't going my way and not playing well definitely added to that".

World number two Jon Rahm is three off the pace after a 67, with fellow Spaniard and Masters champion Sergio Garcia a shot further back. Paisley and Sharm both have wins on the European Tour this season whilst the American Shauffele picked up two wins on the PGA Tour last season, including the lucrative end of season Tour Championship. By comparison, neither Paisley nor Sharma even have pictures or bios to go along with their scorecards.