Kolkata Classic: Shamim takes a three-shot lead

Shamim gathered a total of 10-under 206 and emerged as the sole professional to record three consecutive under-par rounds. Overnight leader Mukesh Kumar recovered from a disastrous start to card an even par round and take the second spot.

Shamim Khan in action at the Kolkata Classic championship on Thursday.   -  Special Arrangement

Shamim Khan’s excellent short game made up for his below par driving as the Delhi golfer’s second successive round of four-under 68 fetched him a three-shot lead in the Kolkata Classic championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club here on Thursday.

Going into the final round, Shamim gathered a total of 10-under 206 and emerged as the sole professional to record three consecutive under-par rounds. Overnight leader Mukesh Kumar recovered from a disastrous start to card an even par round and take the second spot.

Six strokes off the pace, local golfer Shankar Das and Sri Lankan Mithun Perera were tied for the third place on 212. With the course playing harder and the wind getting stronger, the going was tough as only 11 players could shoot under-par scores.

Shamim, who had been struggling with his driving through the week, found the fairways only on six occasions. However, his fine putting skills saved the day for him. A 20-footer birdie putt on the second hole, a 25-footer on 12th and a three-footer on 15th boosted Shamim, who also benefitted by holing his third shot for an eagle from about 110 yards on par-five fourth. The 38-year-old, who had a bogey on seventh, saved valuable pars on sixth, 17th and 18th.

Mukesh witnessed a contrasting fortune, excelling in the long game and facing trouble in putting. Bogeys on third, fourth and fifth – where he missed from close range – spoilt his start. He had another bogey on the back nine.

Four birdies, including three in the later half, saved Mukesh from further embarrassment. Shankar, who had three birdies and an eagle on 15th, matched Shamim in returning the best card of the day.

The scores
  • 206: Shamim Khan (70, 68, 68); 209: Mukesh Kumar (69, 68, 72); 212: Shankar Das (71, 73, 68) and Mithun Perera (70, 72, 70); 213: Sanjeev Kumar (70, 73, 70), Gaurav Pratap Singh (70, 72, 71) and S.S.P. Chowrasia (71, 70, 72); 214: Om Prakash Chouhan (69, 74, 71) and Sujjan Singh (70, 71, 73); 215: Harendra Gupta (70, 74, 71), Feroz Singh Garewal (69, 73, 73) and S. Chikkarangappa (68, 71, 76).