Mukesh struggles but maintains lead in ONGC Noida Golf
NOIDA, Apr 26 (UNI) Mukesh Kumar braved a nightmarish round plagued with putting woes to maintain a one-stroke lead at the mid-way stage of the Rs 10 lakh ONGC-Noida Open here today.
Mukesh's tally of ten-under 134 was made possible by a second round one-under 71.
Kolkata's Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia fired the day's best card of six-under 66 to leap-frog to second place at 135, while fellow Kolkatan Uttam Singh Mundy was placed third at 136.
The cut was applied at six-over 150, with 63 professionals and six amateurs making it to the deciding rounds.
Mukesh began with a birdie which could well have been an eagle had the 39-year-old Mhow golfer not two-putted from ten feet.
However, he missed four and two feet putts to drop shots in the fifth and sixth holes. One over at the turn, Mukesh used his driver, sand wedge combination and went on to sink a 20-footer to birdie the 11th. A birdie on the 14th where the champion golfer chipped to three feet form the pin was followed by a series of pars and Mukesh finished the day with a one-stoke lead over the field.
Chowrasia's round began with a two-on, two putt effort for birdie on the first, his opening hole. On the third hole, he used his five iron, lob wedge combo to chip in for another birdie.
Thereafter, there was no looking back and the 27-year-old went on to register a birdie on the fourth, eagle on the seventh and birdies on the 14th and 15th, before culminating his round with a bogey on the 18th hole. The eagle was the result of a superb chip from behind a tree 50 yards away from the green, right into the hole.
Meanwhile, Praveen Kumar returned a card of two under-70 to wrest the amateur lead from Jasjeet Singh at two-under 142.
The duo of Chirag Kumar and Jasjeet Singh were tied second one stroke behind the leader.
Score (after 36 holes): 134 Mukesh Kumar; 135 SSP Chowrasia; 136 Uttam Singh Mundy; 137 Naman Dawar, ArjunSingh, Ashok Kumar; 138 Amardip Sinh Malik; 139 Feroz Ali; 140 Suleiman Ali, Amritinder Singh; 142 Praveen Kumar; 143 Chirag Kumar, Jasjeet Singh UNI PDS RK1818