Golf shots matter over thin air at Mexico Championship

Paul Dunne faces a stiff challenge this weekend to secure a place at the Masters

England's Chris Paisley may not have been deemed worthy of a profile picture on the tournament website, but his name featured proudly near the top of the leaderboard after the first round of the WGC-Mexico Championship. The South African carded a blemish free 64 which included five birdies and an eagle on the par five 15th hole.

He headed Xander Schauffele, Shubhankar Sharma and Chris Paisley by a stroke on a day when defending champion Dustin Johnson hit a 69 that included a near ace at the 17th, his ball landing beyond the pin and spinning back nearly into the hole.

Defending champion and world number one Dustin Johnson opened with a round of 69 and the American sits on two-under going into tomorrow's second day of play.

Sharma intends to keep his foot on the pedal despite being in his first WGC tournament which is featuring 45 of the world's top-five players this week.

The 28-year-old Thai, who was Asia's No.1 in 2013, believes he has become a stronger golfer through age. The WGC events, a notch below the majors, attract the world's best players, and Sharma will be eager to prove he belongs in their company when he tees off at the $10 million WGC-Mexico Championship. "I'm happy I still have some golf". The Englishman, who began this year ranked 289 in the world and is playing his first WGC and first PGA Tour event this week, ranks 35 in the field in driving distance.

More news: 'Namaste England' to release on Dec 7

"To shoot a great score against the world's best players, I'm delighted. Let's hope I can make a lot of them and can donate as much money as possible". "I hit the ball OK under pressure with him, and the group and the gallery".

Oosthuizen has won just once on the PGA Tour, claiming the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrew's. "If it was 2014 or 2013, I want to whack every single drive on this golf course for sure", he said.

Sharma, who like Paisley is making his first Tour start and at this point a year ago was plying his trade on the Asian Tour, had no such problems with his swing or Chapultepec and was a flawless 6-for-6 in scrambling on his way to a 65.

The billboards around Chapultepec understandably include the likes of Johnson, Spieth, Fowler and Thomas.

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