Sharma had never seen such large crowds following him, and it's still hard to digest seeing so many players he only knew from the middle of the night in Chandigarh, when he would stay up to watch the majors. "You know that good feeling is on the other side".
Now the 21-year-old from India has one last round to hold off a few of golf's biggest names. "Relatively new", Rafa Cabrera Bello told Golf Channel.
"For me, it's actually nearly like watching TV... watching all of these guys on the range, it just seems like there's a TV in front of me and I'm watching them through the TV". Sure, those names sound familiar. The only one in his family to pick golf as a sport, Sharma started at the age of seven.
When he turned pro at 16, many thought it was teenage blood in a hurry. He didn't have a European Tour card.
"It went on until six in the morning back home", Sharma recalled.
Sharma shot a 2-under 69 on the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. "Obviously a dream come true for me to be playing in this tournament and obviously leading, that's just fantastic". (I) obviously made a few mistakes on the greens but the greens are tough this week so I think everyone's making a few mistakes. That would put too much pressure on me.
Third-round leader Nelly Korda parred her last 8 holes in a row.
He will need more of that on Sunday.
Justin Thomas of the USA produced the round of the day, carding a course record 62 to cut the deficit to Sharma to four strokes in a tournament that is one of the four annual World Golf Championships organised by the International Federation of PGA Tours. "So there is a low one in there, hopefully it's tomorrow". At least Sharma got the introductions out of the way before Saturday's round. "To be honest, me and my caddie Baaz (Gurbaaz Mann), we both went up to him. I think it just pushes guys like me to play even better", Sharma said.More news: Leicester City not bothered about Ndidi's future
"I felt like I lost my swing a little on the back nine but overall if you said I was going to shoot seven under at the start of the day I'd have been buzzing so very happy with that".
Sharma would also be the first player to win on his PGA Tour debut since Jim Benepe at the 1988 Western Open, eight years before the Indian was born. For context, consider that when Sharma was born, Lefty already had 113 starts, eight wins and 25 top-10s on Tour.
Mickelson played bogey-free for a 65 and will be in the final group for the first time since the British Open two years ago. Played so well, and the bogeys that I made today were just three putts.
Coetzee is looking for a fourth European Tour title and a second at the Tshwane Open after winning this event in 2015. He says his game and his problematic back are starting to feel good again and the key is to maintain his rigorous fitness routine.
As a teenager, Shubhankar Sharma spent hours watching his golfing heroes on television.
For three days, Sharma has exuded a quiet confidence and a refreshing indifference to his situation.
The passing of golf's generational torch happened on the practice green before the third round of the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.
He could also drastically change the narrative, from who is Shubhankar Sharma to what will he do next?