Mukesh maintains lead in Digboi golf tourney

Saturday, October 24, 2009

DIGBOI - Mukesh Kumar fired a sedate one-under 71 in round three of the IndianOil XtraPremium Masters Golf 2009 here Saturday to maintain his overnight three-stroke lead. The defending champion now has a three-day total of 11 under 205.

Feroz Ali Mollah, who too carded a 71 on day three, is currently in second position with an overall score of eight under 208.

Mukesh (68, 66, 71) began with a bogey on the first but then rallied to make a birdie on the par four third, where he drove the green. A bogey on the seventh was soon followed by another birdie on the ninth. The bogey-birdie on the first two holes of the back nine and another birdie on the par three 16th meant Mukesh closed his round with a comfortable lead.

Mukesh, who is now eyeing his eighth title on the Aircel-PGTI, said: “I did not play to my expectations today. I narrowly missed a 15-feet putt for eagle on the third and also knocked-in a tricky 10-footer for birdie on the ninth. I was not satisfied with my putting as I missed a number of short birdie putts on the front nine. My driving was poor but iron shots were on target.”

The professional from Mhow added: “Feroz is playing well this week so its not going to be easy for me in round four. I will try to play percentage golf on the front nine tomorrow and will then take stock of the situation before planning my strategy for the back nine.”

Kolkatas Feroz Ali Mollah (67, 70, 71) also fired a 71 on a relatively high-scoring day at the Digboi Golf Links to stay within three strokes of the lead. Feroz sank a 20-feet putt on the second to pocket his lone birdie on the front nine. Two birdies (11th, 15th) and two bogeys (12th, 17th) on the back nine helped him close the day in second place.

“I had a decent outing today but I did not putt well. I had only one single putt on the back nine. Nonetheless, I had my chances as I came agonisingly close to sinking eagle putts from 30 and 35 feet on the 11th and 15th respectively,” said Feroz.

“Ill try to attack the pins from the very start in round four so that I can put some amount of pressure on Mukesh.”

The Delhi duo of Shamim Khan and Vinod Kumar and Kolkatas Ranjit Singh Rathore currently share third place and are on Ferozs tail at seven under 209.

Mandeo Singh Pathania is a further stroke back in sixth place.

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