Chandigarh, Mar 28 (UNI) Seasoned campaigner Mukesh Kumar established a two-stroke lead with a two days total of eight under-par 136 in the Centurion Bank of Punjab Open Golf Championship at the 72 par Chandigarh Golf Course here today. Mukesh shot three under 69 in round two.
Kapurthala-based Gaganjeet Bhullar (69, 69) and Vijay Kumar (69, 69) were tied second with an identical total of 138. C Muniyappa was a further stroke behind in fourth. Round one joint leader amateur Ashbeer Saini of Kapurthala slipped to fifth. The cut was applied at six over. Fifty eight professionals and four amateurs made the cut.
Mukesh Kumar's total moved to eight under 136 after his second round 69. He had shot 67 in the first round. On Friday Mukesh began with a bogey on the first but soon made up with consecutive birdies on the second and third. He then dropped a shot with a bogey on the sixth. Mukesh sank a birdie on the eighth to make the turn at one under. The professional from Mhow played a solid back nine as he birdied the 14th and 15th besides making seven pars.
Mukesh said "I have won three titles at the Chandigarh Golf Club before so I have a lot of confidence going into the weekend." Gaganjeet Bhullar (69, 69) is tied second with a total of six under 138. In the second round he was one under at the turn after making birdies on the first, seventh and ninth and bogeys on the second and eighth. Bhullar made birdies on the 12th and 17th to end with 69 in the second round.
Vijay Kumar (69, 69) joined Bhullar in tied second position with a bogey-free 69. Vijay sank birdies on the first, fifth and 17th.
C Muniyappa (69, 70) is fourth at five under 139. Muniyappa's second round 70 saw him make birdies on the first, second and fourth and a lone bogey on the 10th.
Ashbeer Saini (67, 73), the joint leader after round one slipped to fifth place. The 14-year-old amateur's total now stands at four under 140.
Chandigarh pros Harmeet Kahlon (71, 72) and Harendra Gupta (71, 72) are tied eighth at one under 143.
Mohammed Siddikur Rehman's 68 was the best round of the day. The Bangladesh golfer had fired 78 in the first round. He is now tied 21st with a total of two over 146.
Arjun Singh (72, 74) joined Siddikur Rehman in tied 21st place.
Digvijay Singh (76, 72), currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit is tied 38th with an overall score of four over 148.
Rahul Ganapathy (75, 76), a double winner on the PGTI this season was unfortunate to miss the cut by one stroke. His total was seven over 151.
Leading scores: Mukesh Kumar 136 (67, 69), Gaganjeet Bhullar 138 (69, 69), Vijay Kumar 138 (69, 69), C Munniyappa 139 (69, 70), Ashbeer Saini 140 (67, 74), Manav Jain 141 (71, 70), Raju Ali Mollah 142 (72, 70), Rafick Ali (71, 72), Mod Islam (70, 73), Harmeet Kahlon (71, 72), Harinder Gupta (70, 73), Vinod Kumar (71, 72) all 143, As Lehal (71, 73), Shanker Das (75, 69), Nabi Mandal (74, 70) and Kunal Bhasin (75, 69) all 144.
UNI XC PS VN2106