Players C'ship: Mukesh Kumar takes lead on day 3

Players C'ship: Mukesh Kumar takes lead on day 3Pune: Mukesh Kumar of Mhow took control in round three of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Poona Club Ltd. after he carded a five-under-66 on Friday. Mukesh’s total thus moved to 12-under-201. Pune’s Rajiv Datar was placed second at nine-under-204.

Mukesh Kumar (68-67-66), who was overnight joint second, was in great form with the putter in round three. He sank birdie putts from 10 feet and five feet on the fourth and fifth respectively to replace Rajiv Datar at the top of the leaderboard.

The 45-year-old seasoned campaigner then produced a magical approach shot from 100 yards out on the ninth that stopped one foot from the pin and led to a birdie.A fantastic bunker shot on the 10th gave Mukesh his fourth birdie of the day. The Mhow-based professional, currently ranked sixth on the 2012 Rolex Rankings, knocked down a 20-footer on the 11th and a 30-feet putt on the 13th for two more birdies. He finished with a round of 66 after dropping the only bogey of the day on the closing 18th where he found the hazard with his tee shot.

“My putting was exceptional today. I also hit 16 greens in regulation. I started off well with birdies on the fourth and fifth. The three successive birdies from the ninth through the 11th really lifted my game. A three-stroke lead is generally a comfortable position ahead of the final day but I’ll have to keep in mind that Rajiv Datar my closest competitor is playing on his home course. His local knowledge can easily offset my three-stroke advantage,” said Mukesh, a winner at the Poona Club Golf Course during the 2010 PGTI season.

Rajiv Datar (66-68-70), the overnight leader, slipped to second position on day three after returning a one-under-70. His round featured six birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey.

Mandeo Singh Pathania (70-70-65) of the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort, Greater Noida, shot the day’s best score of six-under-65 to move into third place with a total score of eight-under-205.

Sri Lankan Mithun Perera is placed fourth at seven-under-206.

By Indian Sports News Network