Mukesh fires 63 for lead in TN Golf Championship

August 28th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 28 (IANS) Mukesh Kumar produced a breathtaking round of seven under 63 to take a three-stroke lead in round two of the Tamil Nadu Open Golf Championship at the Madras Gymkhana Club here Thursday.Mukesh, who shot 67 in the first round, now has a total of 10-under 130. The professional from Mhow, who has already won three tournaments in the 2007-08 PGTI season, worked his way to the top of the leaderboard with the help of eight birdies and one bogey.

Rafick Ali Mollah, the joint first round leader, slipped to second place with a total of seven-under 133. Kunal Bhasin and C Muniyappa were tied third with an identical five-under 135.

In all, 53 players made the cut that came at four-over 144. The six amateurs in the field will join these professionals for the last two rounds Friday and Saturday.

Mukesh birdied the second and followed that up with a bogey on the fourth. He picked up two more birdies on the sixth and ninth before making the turn.

Mukesh started the inward nine on a high as he birdied the 10th. Three consecutive birdies on the 12th, 13th, 14th helped him make rapid progress on the leaderboard. He then sank another birdie on the 16th to close with an exceptional 63.

“I think my game picked up because I putted really well. I made a 20-foot putt for birdie on the sixth. I also had a couple of great shots on the second and the 13th. On the par three second, I made birdie thanks to my tee shot which ended up one foot short of the hole. On the 13th, I chipped-in from the bunker for birdie,” said Mukesh.

“If I continue to putt well over the next two days, I feel I have a very good chance of winning here,” he added.

Mollah (65, 68) sank birdies on the fifth, seventh, 12th, 14th, 16th and bogeyed the eighth, ninth and 17th.

Harendra Gupta’s (72, 65) total stands at three under 137 and was in 11th place at the halfway stage while Ashok Kumar (71, 67) totalled two-under 138 for the first two days to be tied 12th.

Local favourite Sandeep Syal (68, 71) was tied 16th at one-under 139 and Rahul Ganapathy (72, 68) was tied 26th at even par 140.

Coimbatore’s Joseph Chakola (78, 75) could not make the cut as he totalled 13-over 153 for the first two rounds.

Leaderboard: 130 - Mukesh Kumar (Mhow) 67, 63; 133 - Rafick Ali Mollah (Kolkata) 65, 68; 135 - Kunal Bhasin (Australia) 67, 68; C Muniyappa (Bangalore) 70, 65; 136 - A S Lehal (Chandigarh) 65, 71; Shankar Das (Kolkata) 67, 69; Vijay Kumar (Lucknow) 69, 67; Ranjit Singh (Chandigarh) 68, 68; R Srinivas (Bangalore) 67, 69; Vivek Bhandari (Delhi) 67, 69.

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