Mukesh, Chiragh are joint leaders

Gurgaon: Mukesh Kumar of Mhow and Delhi`s
Chiragh Kumar carded four-under 68 and even-par 72
respectively to emerge as joint leaders after round three of
the PGTI Players Championship here on Thursday.

The two are tied with a three-day total of nine-under 207
at the Golden Greens Golf & Country Club here.

Two strokes adrift of the leaders is R Srinivas (71) of
Bangalore at the third place with an aggregate of seven-under

Mukesh Kumar, the winner of the maximum number of titles
on the Aircel PGTI, picked up birdies on the first, second,
third and fifth holes and seemed to be on course for the sole
lead when he sank another birdie on the 11th to go five-under
for the day.

However, a bogey on the 14th slowed him down a bit as he
could manage only one more birdie for the day which came on
the 16th.

The 2008 Aircel PGTI Order of Merit champion finally
ended the day by dropping a bogey on the 18th where he missed
a sitter of a putt for par as the rain made life difficult for
the professionals towards the end of the round.

"I had a fantastic start today with four birdies on the
first five holes. At that stage I thought that I will play for
pars for the rest of the round and also look to grab any
birdie opportunity wherever possible," Mukesh said.

But my poor hitting and iron-play let me down on the
back nine as I pulled a lot of shots to the left. I was also a
little careless on the back nine since I missed a two-footer
for par on the 18th.

"Nonetheless, I`m quite confident about my game at the
moment and like always will look to play with a positive
mindset in the final round."

Chiragh Kumar was level par at the turn having made two
birdies and bogeys each. He then birdied the 10th and 12th to
stay ahead of Mukesh.

However, a bogey-bogey finish brought him back to level
par for the day.

"I played really well through the day and was two under
till the 16th hole. But I just lost my momentum on the last
two holes when it started raining heavily. I didn`t hit it as
good as the previous two rounds.”

"However, I`m satisfied with today`s performance as it
has kept me on top of the leaderboard and given me a great
launch-pad for the final round," said Chiragh, the winner of
the amateur title at the 2006 Indian Open.

Ashok Kumar and Vinod Kumar share fourth place at four
under 212.