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Chennai Open: Mithun jumps into the sole lead

Mithun Perera... racing ahead.

Mithun Perera... racing ahead.   | Photo Credit: G. Krishnaswamy

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Thangaraja follows three shots behind while Veer lies third

Mithun Perera jokingly revealed a truth the other day. According to the 31-year-old professional golfer, his earnings through philately last year was much higher than his returns as a pro.

In fact, after he won the Eagleburg Open in Bengaluru in February 2014, Mithun has had a barren run though he finished inside the top five now and then.

His performance in the Chennai Open golf championship over the last two days, however, suggests that he is on course for his sixth PGTI title provided he maintains his nerve.

Joint overnight leader along with N. Thangaraja and Vikrant Chopra, Mithun, on Saturday, shot into sole lead with a five-under 65 to take his total to 14-under 196.

Thangaraja fought hard and kept pace with Mithun till the 15th hole.

From thereon, both played safe, but a bogey on the 16th by Thangaraja didn’t help his cause, as he finished with a 2-under 68, to be placed second.

Day’s best

The best performer of the day was Veer Ahlawat who carded a seven-under 63. The pro from Delhi, who was placed 16th on Friday, is now in third position. Ahlawat had seven birdies. Vikrant, on the other hand, slipped to tied joint fourth with Mukesh Kumar and Shamim Khan, with a par 70.

Mithun had a modest front nine with a lone birdie on the seventh hole. He fared much better in the back nine with four birdies coming on the 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th.

“It was a close fight between me and Thangaraja. I didn’t commit many errors. That was the key.

“Moreover, I didn’t give him (Thangaraja) a chance,” said Mithun, adding “I am so much hungry.”

The scores: 1. Mithun Perera (Sri Lanka) 196 (68, 63, 65); 2. N. Thangaraja 199 (Sri Lanka) (61, 70, 68); 3. Veer Ahlawat 200 (70, 67, 63).

4. Shamim Khan 201 (64, 69, 68), Mukesh Kumar (66,66, 69), Vikrant Chopra (66, 65, 70); 7. Sujjan Singh 203 (67, 66, 70), Feroz Singh Garewal (68, 66, 69), R. Marimuthu (69, 68, 66), Ranjit Singh (70, 66, 67).

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 3:11:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/chennai-open-mithun-jumps-into-the-sole-lead/article22920493.ece

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