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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Leader Louis Oosthuizen could come under pressure

Xander Schauffele should stay in the Mexico mix

PGA Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele
1 of 1

Round two
Sky Sports Golf, 5.15pm Friday

Louis Oosthuizen took advantage of favourable conditions to take a one-shot lead into the second round of the WGC-Mexico Championship but the South African is likely to come under pressure from the big guns in behind him.

Oosthuizen carded a fine seven-under-par round of 64 at Golf Club de Chapultepec to go one clear of Xander Schauffele, Englishman Chris Paisley and Indian sensation Shubhankar Sharma. Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson are among the stellar names in close attendance.

Oosthuizen and Rahm dispute favouritism at 7-1 followed by Johnson (10-1) and Schauffele (11-1).

While Chapultepec's tight fairways put plenty of emphasis on straight hitting, Mexico City's high altitude allows the longer hitters to engineer plenty of birdie and eagle chances when the conditions allow.

That was the case on Thursday and, with winds low again, a similar plot should unfold on day two.

The cream rose to the top when this event made its Mexico debut last year and it's likely that we'll see something similar once again. Schauffele looks strong enough to stay towards the top of the leaderboard.

The 24-year-old broke his US Tour duck with victory in the Greenbrier last year and a success in the season-ending Tour Championship saw him crowned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

He possesses a power-packed game but his Greenbrier performance demonstrated that he knows how to rein it in when required and he did so superbly to open up with a bogey-free 65.

Schauffele can be backed to outscore chief danger Brian Harman and the out-of-sorts Francesco Molinari in their 5.27pm threeball.

A 64-runner field has made for a couple of matches and Sharma should arguably be a lot shorter than a 4-6 shot to outplay Gavin Green.

The rising star made a fine start to shoot five under on his WGC debut and he rarely throws in a poor round. Green, on the other hand, saw his remote chance of glory slip further away with an error-ridden 78 and it's hard to see him staging a recovery.

Recommendations
X Schauffele to win threeball
1pt 6-4 Hills
S Sharma to win twoball
3pts 4-6 bet365


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Schauffele's Greenbrier performance demonstrated that he knows how to rein it in when required
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