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WGC-Mexico Championship 2018: Shubhankar Sharma Holds Lead After Round 3

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2018

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 03:  Shubhankar Sharma of India plays his shot from the third tee during the third round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on March 3, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After grabbing control of the WGC-Mexico Championship 2018 on Friday, Shubhankar Sharma kept rolling on Saturday to hold on to the lead heading into the final round.

The 21-year-old Sharma entered the day with a two-stroke lead after shooting a 66 on Day 2. A 69 in the third round helped him maintain his lead.

For much of the day, a pack of players—including Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia—battled to keep pace not only with Sharma but also with each other for second place. However, a logjam still remains behind the leader.

As for reigning champ Dustin Johnson, he will need a strong finish to capture his third title at the event. He enters Sunday three strokes back of the lead.

Check out the roundup of Saturday's third round of the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec, complete with an updated leaderboard and highlights of the day's best action.

    

Saturday Leaderboard (To Par)

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1. Shubhankar Sharma 69 (-13)

T2. Tyrrell Hatton 64 (-11)

T2. Phil Mickelson 65 (-11)

T2. Sergio Garcia 69 (-11)

T2. Rafael Cabrera Bello 69 (-11)

T6. Pat Perez 68 (-10)

T6. Dustin Johnson 68 (-10)

T6. Brian Harman 68 (-10)

T6. Xander Schauffele 70 (-10)

10. Justin Thomas 62 (-9)

Visit the official PGA Tour website to view the leaderboard in full.

    

Recap

Once again, Sharma put himself in good position to end the tournament in the top spot. After a five-under on Friday, a two-under 69 kept him in the lead. It was a fast start, which saw him convert three birdies in his first six holes, that helped set the tone for the day, as the PGA Tour Twitter account showed:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

🦅-🦅-🐦 No first-tee jitters for @shubhankargolf in Mexico City! #QuickHits https://t.co/QuWxATy9fK

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Four-shot lead. 🐦 @ShubhankarGolf is ROLLING. #QuickHits https://t.co/2tmPD8LgFa

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

9 under(!) in Round 3 with two holes to play. How low can JT go? #QuickHits https://t.co/rqy2lZrbPG

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

A testy putt to extend the lead...⤵️🕳 Sharma moves back to 14 under! #QuickHits https://t.co/xiEwl8co45

Nobody, not even Sharma, had a better day than Justin Thomas. The 24-year-old surged up the leaderboard with a 62 that saw him notch eight birdies and an eagle.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The last five holes for JT: 🐦 🐦 Par 🐦 🦅 En fuego. #QuickHits https://t.co/crx3pOJySS

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

🔥🔥 @JustinThomas34's Strokes Gained Putting in Rounds 1 & 2: -1.091. Today: +1.330 7 under thru 13 holes. #QuickHits https://t.co/b7cBVyaX8d

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Déjà vu for DJ on No. 9? #QuickHits https://t.co/4DuyklHhg1

Overall, it was a record-setting day for the American golfer:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

New course record at Chapultepec and up 33 spots to T5! @JustinThomas34 was 🔥🔥🔥 in Round 3. https://t.co/eDQ8WHWwNg

Thomas' strong Day 3 wasn't enough to catch the leader, but he sits now four strokes back with one round to play.

While his seven-under wasn't quite as impressive as Thomas' nine-under, Tyrrell Hatton made serious moves on Saturday. Seven birdies kept the pressure on Sharma.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

"No room there at all." 😱 Tyrrell Hatton moves into solo-second! #QuickHits https://t.co/Jh0ekBBINn

Mickelson continued to improve as he chases his first WGC-Mexico Championship title since 2009, shooting a 65 on Day 3. He sits just two strokes back of the lead but could have made things interesting with a little luck on the third hole.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Will there be another hole-in-one on No. 3? Lefty was just inches away. 😳 #QuickHits https://t.co/6Lw2UgSFPj

Instead of a hole-in-one, Lefty had to save for par.

Saturday provided very little separation at the top of the leaderboard. eight players remain within three strokes of the lead. As Hatton and Thomas showed, there can be a lot of movement in one day.

Now, the stage is set for what should be an exciting final round on Sunday.

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