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Mukesh in lead

Calcutta: Mukesh Kumar fired a six-under 66 to grab a one-stroke lead over arch-rival Firoz Ali, after the opening round of the Rs 7 lakh The Hindu Open in Chennai Wednesday. This is the fifth stop on the 2002-03 Hero Honda Golf Tour.

Pappan, Vinod Kumar and Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia were tied for the third position, at four-under 68, one stroke behind Firoz, according to information received here.

Gaurav Ghei was tied sixth with Rafiq Ali at three-under 69. Delhi youngster Ashok Kumar and Sheeraz Kalra were locked at eighth with Digvijay Singh on two-under 70.

Mukesh, a tenth tee starter began in style, with a birdie on the opening hole. His confidence soared with a chip-in for birdie on the 12th from over 20 feet. One hole later, he bettered that effort, finding the cup from 25 feet for his second chip-in of the day and third birdie overall.

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