Louis Oosthuizen leads as Chris Paisley impresses at WGC-Mexico

Rose raring to go at WGC in Mexico

Francesco Molinari took issue with a bad time he received during Thursday's first round of the WGC-Mexico Championship.

But for him to defend his title, he will have to fight off every top 50 player except for Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, and Brooks Koepka, making it as deep a field as one will find ahead of the Masters.

The former British Open champion offered a timely reminder that on his day he is still among the game's elite as he carded a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.

"I drove it pretty well and I've got a lot of confidence in my driver".

South Africa's Oosthuizen was blemish free in his 64 to be one ahead of three players - Chris Paisley of England, Xander Schauffele of the USA and impressive Indian Shubankhar Sharma.

Paisley held the outright lead after following a front nine of 31 with birdies on the 10th, 14th and 15th, but bogeyed the 16th shortly before Oosthuizen added an eagle on the 15th to five earlier birdies to vault to the top of the leaderboard.

"Had a nice little cut going with it, just aiming it a little left and just swing away". "I've been hitting it really good over the past three or four weeks".

"It's the biggest tournament I've played in by a long stretch", Paisley said.

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

Paisley might have expected better after his recent BMW SA Open win, his debut European Tour victory. "I'm obviously surprised I've gone out and shot six under and I'm in second place - that's kind of surpassed my expectations".

In fact, there were just two players from the top 10 in the World Ranking, No. 2 Jon Rahm (seventh) and No. 7 Rickie Fowler (tied for eighth), among the top 10 when play finally concluded in fading light after a 30-minute lightning delay.

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, at 5-under, sit just two off the lead heading into Friday.

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