A gutsy round from Adam Bland has the likeable left hander in position to contend at the WGC event in Mexico where India's Shubhankar Sharma is the unexpected leader at the halfway mark.
The Thai star briefly led the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship after 10 holes of his second round at the Club Golf de Chapultepec but found himself on the bogey train with three dropped shots over his last eight holes.
Sharma's lead at the top is two from American Xander Schauffele and the Spanish pair of Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera-Bello with another two shots back to a group of seven players at 7-under and T5.
Defending champion Johnson is four strokes off the pace at the halfway stage of the exclusive event, while three-time major victor Spieth is two shots further back.
Sharma entered the week already ranked first on the European Tour after two early-season victories, in South Africa and Malaysia. I was very nervous in the morning, but very happy with the way I put it all together.
"Practising with all these good players on the range, [Jordan] Spieth was right behind me, and after a couple shots just stepped back and watched and then Dustin [Johnson] replaced him, so it's like I couldn't ask for anything better".More news: Son shines to lift Tottenham into third
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"It's the biggest tournament I've played in by a long stretch", Paisley said.
Sharma hit a 3-wood on his opening tee shot to 2 feet for a tap-in eagle and overcame consecutive three-putt bogeys.
"I'm really happy that I'm playing at such a high level and playing with all these great players". "I know I can putt well". "Let's hope I make a lot of (birdies and eagles) and I can donate as much money as possible".
"I hit the ball well". You really need that to have to go low, especially on a course like this.
Key to his success was an eagle at the par-five 15th hole as he took command of the first of the four WGC events this year. I drove it well. "Just playing well here this week will get my closer to my dream".
Now ranked 75th in the world, he has only four weeks left to move into the top 50 and punch his ticket to Augusta.