Being slow and steady hasn't won overnight joint leader Mukesh Kumar the race yet, but some no-nonsense golf gave him a handy three-stroke lead after the third round of the Aircel Players Championship at the par-70 Tolly Club course on Thursday.
Fellow joint leader Manav Jaini started the day with a birdie but a combination of bad luck and bad play on the greens pushed him five strokes behind Mukesh at one stage before two late birdies closed the gap. The bogey-free round of four-under lifted Mukesh to 10-under 200 and after five birdies and four bogeys, Jaini was sole second at 203.
Starting the day a stroke behind the leaders and after joining them at six-under after the fourth hole, Sanjay Kumar's short game fell apart as he finished the day with three-over to slip to tied ninth at 208 with two others.
The feature of the day was Mukesh's all-frills-barred game and how he gained from the errors of his nearest rivals. He started landing his tee shots in good areas of the dew-drenched fairways early on and it stayed that way even after things dried up. His short game wasn't spectacular but effective and there were few excellent shots, fewer bad shots and largely, it was an exhibition of safety-first and sensible golf.