HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
POKHARA: Nepal No 1 Shiva Ram Shrestha opened up a three-stroke lead over three pros after the second and penultimate round of the Surya Nepal Western Open here at the par-73 Himalayan Golf Course today.
On a day when all the pros faltered, Shiva Ram shot four-over 77 to jump to lead with the total score of four-over 150. Sanjay Lama (78), overnight leader CB Bhandari (81) and Deepak Thapa Magar (77) shared the second position at seven-over 153.
“The lead of three shots is good, but you never know. Anything can happen in golf,” said Shiva Ram, who was frustrated with his driver shots. “I could not hit the ball straight today and I also putted badly,” added Shiva Ram, who played two-over on either half. He began the day with a bogey and added another on the third hole before saving pars on other holes.
On the back nine, Shiva Ram dropped two shots on the 13th hole and one on the 16th. His lone birdie of the round came on the 14th hole. “Overall it was a bad day, not only for me but for all the players,” said Shiva Ram. “Everybody knows the course is difficult in Pokhara, and playing under such a hot weather condition is like a hell,” he added.
Overnight leader Bhandari — who was the only player to sign in under-par card on the first day — had a perfect start to the second round with a birdie before suffering three bogeys and a double bogey on the front nine. He went on to add four more bogeys on the back nine.
Pashupati Sharma carded 77 and Ramesh Adhikari shot 78 to share the fifth position at nine-over 155. Umesh Nagarkoti shot seven-over 80 to stay seventh with the score of 11-over 157. Rabi Khadka was eight at 158, Ramesh Nagarkoti ninth at 160 and Surya Sharma 10th at 162.
Dhana Thapa, Mani Rai, Yelamber Singh Adhikari, Deepak Acharya, Ram Thapa, Rajan Thapa, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Sachin Bhattarai, Deepak Neupane and Dhruba KC made it to the money-making final round of the second event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2012-13. Gorkha Lama and Pravat K Rajbahak, the newly-turned pros, along with Prasanna Upreti missed the cut.
Meanwhile, Ram Baniya produced the best card of the day at one-over 74 for a total of eight-over 154, to take a 10-shot lead over Wangchen Dhondup. Overnight joint leader with Baniya, Wangchen shot 11-over 84 to remain second at 18-over 164. Shankar Baniya, who also shot 84, and Bikash Bogati (80) were tied for third with the score of 165. Dinesh Prajapati (80) was fifth at 167, while Sunil KC and Sanjeev CK were tied for sixth at 168. Kamal Tamang, Tirtha Paudel and Tashi Ghale were the other amateurs to make the cut.