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Vinod stages fightback but Mukesh leads at Hero Golf Open

Written by: Staff

Chandigarh, Apr 20 (UNI) Delhi's Vinod Kumar fired a superb five-under 67 even as Mukesh Kumar survived a forgetful front nine to lead by two strokes after the third and penultimate round of the Rs 12 lakh Hero Open Golf here today.

Mukesh Kumar added a two-under 70 to his overnight 11-under for a three-day total of 13-under par. Vinod Kumar submitted a blemishless card of five-under 67 to lie in the second position.

Uttam Mundy was third at nine-under 207 while veterans Vijay Kumar and Feroz Ali were tied for the fourth position at eight-under 208.

Mohammed Salim and Rohit Chaudhary shared the sixth position at five-under 211. Last week's winner Shamim Khan and Digvijay Singh were tied for eighth position at 212 while local challenger Ranjit Singh and Arjun Singh shared the 10th spot.

Mukesh Kumar did not have the best of starts after a par on the opening hole. After hitting to the right, the 39-year-old hit out of bounds on his second shot and ended up with a bogey, which he quickly recovered with a birdie on the fifth. Two more bogeys followed on the sixth and ninth, courtesy his inaccurate approach shots, both times from the green side bunkers. But that was the end of his mistakes as he changed into the attack mode after being passive on his front nine.

He then made consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th, missing an eagle on the latter. With two more birdies on the 15th and 16th, once again missing an eagle on the 16th, Mukesh was back into the lead after Vinod had restored parity after the 11th hole.

Vinod played some steady golf making two birdies on the second and sixth on his front nine. On the par-5 13th, his chip hit the flagstick and he missed out on an eagle but still made a birdie.

He saved one more stroke on the next par-5 16th. With a perfect wedge-shot he was in line for a regulation birdie, which he duly made.

Uttam Mundy made a bogey and a birdie to be level par on the front nine but made back to back birdies on the 17 th and 18th to stay in contention.

Meanwhile, there was a tough fight for the amateur title with both the leading amateurs of the country -- Rahul Bakshi and Ganagjeet Bhullar -- tied for the 25th spot overall at two-over 218.


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