Three months after winning that first event, Sharma is on the verge of another major breakthrough, holding the 54-hole lead in his first PGA event.
Sharma, who leads Mickelson, Hatton, Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello by two shots, will have a headstart, but nonetheless will be an underdog against such elite company.
But England's Tyrrell Hatton also reached 16 under thanks to birdies on the 12th and 14th and an eagle of his own on the 15th, while playing partner Mickelson birdied the 15th and 16th to make it a three-way tie.
Making his World Golf Championships debut, Sharma opened with a round of 65 on Thursday and stormed home in 31 to follow up with a five under par 66.
"I played so well, and the bogeys that I made today were just three-putts". But the world's best golfer, Dustin Johnson, still stunned fans - and a fellow Ryder Cupper - with one tee shot in particular. I feel like I'm starting to play some of my best golf.
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.
Shubhankar Sharma has two European Tour victories this year - in South Africa and Malaysia.
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In those 97 starts since his last win, Mickelson has almost as many missed cuts (15) as he does top 10s (19).
If Kiradech can not produce the comeback on Sunday, he will be rooting for third round leader Sharma, who takes a two-shot lead over a star-studded field in the US$10 million showpiece.
Mickelson was the first player who appeared to seize control with a birdie on No. 10 to take the lead, and facing a reachable par 5 and a drivable par 4.
"To me, he has a very calm attitude".
"I know there were other victories that will have a lot of meaning, but this one is very special", said an emotional Steve Loy, Mickelson's longtime manager. "He started at seven and hasn't put the club down after that, he got hooked and married to the game, his temperament is in sync, he's calm, composed, humble and down to earth, and thinks golf is bigger than him, therefore he is always improving", Shubhankar's father Mohan Lal told Gulf News. It's great that I'm paired with him. I wasn't too hard on myself.
When Phil Mickelson finally trades his PGA Tour card for an AARP card, which at this rate will likely stretch well into his golden years, PGA Tour victory No. 43 will be greater than the sum of its parts.