Calcutta: Mukesh Kumar, Firoz Ali and Shiv Prakash shared the lead on the opening day of the Rs 8.5 lakh Cotton City Open at the Coimbatore Golf Club course, Wednesday. According to information received here, the trio returned creditable cards of four-under 68.
Young Rahil Gangjee of Calcutta submitted a two-under 70 card to be the sole occupant of the fourth place, while his citymate, Mohammed Salim and Sanjay Kumar of Lucknow were tied for the fifth place at one-under 71. Digvijay Singh, Money List leader after six events and winner of two titles this season, disappointed with a four-over 76 that left him tied for the 34th place.
The Mhow-based Mukesh, exuberating confidence after his back-to-back victories in the Hindu and Hyundai Opens in Chennai, played some aggressive golf.
Teeing off from the 10th tee, Mukesh’s first birdie came on the difficult 555-yard, par-5 13th hole, where a new tee box and a water hazard near the green have added to the degree of difficulty.
Cutting across to the adjacent 17th fairway with his tee shot, Mukesh’s second shot landed about 13 feet to the right of the green. He made his chip-putt for a birdie. His next two birdies came on the next two holes.
The three-time Champion Golfer of the Year lost his concentration on the 17th where he three-putted to make a bogey and then missed a two-feet par putt on the second hole. Apart from the two bogies, he made birdies on the 18th and ninth to finish at four-under 68.
TOP SCORES (after 18 holes)
68-Mukesh Kumar, Firoz Ali, Shiv Prakash; 70-Rahil Gangjee; 71- Mohammed Salim, Sanjay Kumar; 72-Ashok Kumar, Bhoop Singh, Pappan, Rohtas Singh, Sheeraz Kalra; 73-Ajay Gupta, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia, Rafiq Ali, Roop Singh, Praduman Guleria, Monish Bindra.