Mukesh Kumar seizes the initiative in the third round

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Jamshedpur, Jan 5 (UNI) Veteran Mukesh Kumar used all his experience to take the sole lead in round three of the Tata Open 2008 being played jointly at Beldih and Golmuri golf courses here today.

Defending champion SSP Chowrasia occupies tied fourth position along with Chandigarh's Sujjan Singh. The two have a total of two under 210. While Chowrasia fired even par 70, Sujjan shot an amazing three under 67 today,the penultimate day of te the tournament.

Mukesh's overall score moved to eight-under-par 204 after he carded 67, the day's best score. Harendra Gupta who also shot 67 is in second position going into the final round. He trails the leader by one stroke.

Mukesh Kumar, the 2002 Tata Open champion,was two under at the turn as he made birdies on the fifth and sixth holes at Golmuri. He had an action-packed nine holes at Beldih. Mukesh dropped bogeys on the 12th and 14th and then had a flurry of birdies on the 15th, 16th and 18th.

Harendra Gupta is one stroke off the lead at seven-under-par 205.

He made a tremendous start at Golmuri with birdies on the first and second but then fell back dropping bogeys on the fourth and sixth. Then on the seventh, Gupta made birdie after missing an eight feet putt for eagle.

The Chandigarh pro picked up the pace at Beldih by sinking birdies on the 12th, 13th and 16th. However, he dropped a shot with a bogey on the 17th.

Rafick Ali Mollah is in third position at the moment, four strokes behind Harendra Gupta. Rafick's round of one under 69 took his total to three under 209. He sank birdies on the fourth, fifth, seventh, 10th, 16th and 18th and made bogeys on the sixth, eighth, 12th and 15th.

After the cut was made at nine over par yesterday, the field was restricted to 52 professionals and four amateurs.Today the entire field played nine holes each on both the courses Beldih as well as Golmuri.

While one half of the field teed off from Beldih, the other half began its round from Golmuri. Thirty golfers with the best scores at the end of round two teed off from Golmuri and finished at Beldih.

The par for the combined courses was 70. This format will also be followed tomorrow, the final day of the meet.

UNI BDG SJC AB RAR RN1959

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