Kolkata Classic: Mukesh in sole lead

Seasoned golfer Mukesh Kumar scored a fine four-under 68 and took a one stroke lead with a two-round total of 137 in the Kolkata Classic championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club course here on Wednesday.

Mukesh Kumar, the leader after the second round of the Kolkata Classic golf event, in action on Wednesday.   -  Special Arrangement

Seasoned golfer Mukesh Kumar scored a fine four-under 68 and took a one stroke lead with a two-round total of 137 in the Kolkata Classic championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club course here on Wednesday.

Shamim Khan, who also had a 68, was at the second place, followed by overnight joint leader S. Chikkarangappa, who carded a 71 to be on 139.

Four shots away from the leader, Indian open champion S.S.P. Chowrasia was tied for the fourth place with two others, N. Thangaraja and Sujjan Singh, after securing a two-under score.

Altogether 54 professionals made the cut, which was declared at five-over 149. Mukesh, who claimed his maiden Asian Tour title last year at 51 years of age, showed the magic of his steady hands at the greens. Be it a 25-footer birdie putt on the fourth hole or a two-footer on 16th, he sank the ball with confidence. He also gained a shot apiece on eighth, 14th and 15th.

Nevertheless, the lone bogey on 10th, where Mukesh missed a three-foot after recovering from rough, remained the only blot on his near-perfect card.

Shamim returned an error-free four-under card. His inherent composure helped the Delhi based golfer to see off difficult situations, including a 30-foot putt to gain a shot on the eighth. Starting from the 10th hole, Shamim also had birdies on 12th, 16th and fifth.

Chowrasia had an eventful round, consisting of six birdies and four bogeys. Chiragh Kumar, who shared the lead overnight, was joint 14th on 144.

The scores:

137- Mukesh Kumar (69, 68); 138 - Shamim Khan (70, 68); 139- S. Chikkarangappa (68, 71); 141 - S.S.P. Chowrasia (71, 70), N. Thangaraja (70, 71) and Sujjan Singh (70, 71); 142 - Gaurav Pratap Singh (70, 72), Feroz Singh Garewal (69, 73) and Mithun Perera (70, 72); 143 - Om Prakash Chouhan (69, 74), Deepinder Singh Kullar (70, 73), Sanjeev Kumar (70, 73) and Rahul Bajaj (73, 70).