| MUKESH: Seven-stroke lead
Calcutta: Mhow’s Mukesh Kumar set the Digboi Club Golf Links ablaze Thursday, carding eight-under 64 as he opened up a seven-stroke lead on Day II of the Rs. 8.5 lakh Servo Masters tournament.
According to information received here, this is a new course record at the par-72, with Mukesh, bettering arch rival Firoz Ali’s effort of seven-under achieved last year at the same tournament.
Mukesh tallied a mid-way aggregate of 12-under 132.
The Delhi duo of Ashok Kumar and Shamim Khan, who returned cards of 68 and 70, respectively, were tied a distant second at five-under 139 apiece.
Digvijay Singh was fourth at two-under 140 while six others shared the joint fifth position.
A total of 51 pros made it to the money-making rounds after the cut was applied at eight-over 152.
Mukesh has four victories under his belt in just nine starts this season. As the 10th tee starter, he laid the perfect foundation to annexe his fifth title as he sunk eight birdies and an eagle to return the best card of the day.
Narrowly missing a birdie on his opening hole, Mukesh more than made up with birdies on the 11th and 13th.
His tee shot on the par-4 14th landed about 20 feet from the pin from where the star golfer found the cup with amazing accuracy.
Slight lapses in concentration saw Mukesh bogey the 17th and second.
However, he regrouped himself soon with birdies on the third and fourth and four straight birdies on his closing holes.
“I am pleased to have achieved another landmark. I will think of bettering it every time I go out to play,” said Mukesh.
“My hitting and putting were great today,” added the golfer who returned 26 putts on Thursday.
Ashok who is in his rookie year has left a mark with every outing on the current Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour season. Thursday was no different as the 22-year-old lad from Delhi made a solitary bogey (5th) and had five birdies (1st, 3rd, 4th, 9th and 14th).
“It is a difficult task but I will definitely try my best to catch up with the leader,” said Ashok.