Veteran Mukesh Kumar of Mhow emerged leader with a three-under-68 effort in the third round of the Telangana Tourism-promoted Golconda Masters golf championship at the HGA.

For someone who holds the record of being the oldest champion on the PGTI, the 52-year-old Mukesh went one ahead on the penultimate day to move to 12-under-201.

N. Thangaraja (68) and Ahmedabad’s Udayan Mane (69) were tied in the second spot at 11-under-202.

Mukesh, who was third in the last edition here, suffered an early setback when he bogeyed the first. But, the winner of over 120 titles rose to the occasion with three birdies on the front-nine. He picked up the pace with a 20-feet eagle conversion on the 10 and then a splendid tee shot on the par-3 11 to set up a tap-in birdie.

However, a terrific tee shot on the par-3 11 that set up a tap-in birdie. However, a couple of poor approach shots on the 12 and 14 resulted in bogeys and put the brakes on his round though he hung on to the lead eventually thanks to pars on the last four holes.

“I’m quite happy with today’s effort as the wind was up and the pin positions were quite tough so it was not easy to shoot an under-par score. I really got a lot of confidence after the eagle on the 10 b  ut couldn’t capitalize on that by scoring low on the back-nine. The missed birdie opportunity from three feet on the 18 was a big letdown,” he said later.

Second round leader Angad Cheema of Panchkula dropped to tied fourth at 10-under-203 as a result of his third round of 74. The others in joint fourth were 2017 PGTI Order of Merit champion Shamim Khan (68) of Delhi and Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (68).

Sujjan Singh of Chandigarh brought in the day’s best card of six-under-65 that moved him into tied 14 at seven-under-206. His error-free round was highlighted by four consecutive birdies from the fifth to the eighth.