Bhandari, Nagarkoti share lead on Day-II

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu, February 16

CB Bhandari carded even-par 67 to share the lead with Ramesh Nagarkoti after the second round of the NPGA President's Cup golf tournament here at the Royal Nepal Golf Course today.

Overnight leader Nagarkoti shot two over 69 to share the lead with the fellow home club pro with a total score of two-over 136. Rajan Thapa shot two-over 69 to remain third at 138, while Deepak Neupane carded one-over 68 to stay fourth with the score of 139.

Rabi Khadka and Krishna Man Rajbahak are tied for fifth at 141, two shots ahead of Deepak Thapa Magar, who carded two-over 69. Ram Thapa was eighth at 146, whereas three golfers -- Pashupati Sharma, Sachin Bhattarai and Dhana Thapa are tied for ninth at 147.

Bhandari, who was tied fourth after the first round, began the day with a double bogey before dropping shots on the seventh and ninth holes. In between, he carded birdies on the fourth and eighth holes for the front nine score of two-over 35. On the back nine, he saved pars on the seven straight holes before carding birdies on the last two holes for the two-under 32.

Nagarkoti also began the second round with a double bogey but recovered well to save pars on rest of the holes to take a turn at two-over 35. On the back nine, Nagarkoti shot two birdies against the same number of bogeys for the even-par 34. "I struggled today as I could not hit the drives properly," said Nagarkoti. "I barely hung on to the lead just because of my experience," he added. "I will stick to my natural game and try to win the tournament," said Nagarkoti, whose last of the five trophies was the Surya Nepal Western Open in Pokhara five years ago.

Another RNGC pro Rajan Thapa shot second straight two-over 69. On the front nine, Thapa carded a lone birdie on the fourth against a bogey on the seventh, while he had bogeys on the 10th and 14th holes. A total of 18 pros and six amateurs made the cut going into the final round of the 54-hole tournament, sponsored by the Nepal Professional Golfers Association (NPGA) President Rabindra Man Shrestha.

Other pros who made it to the final round included Krishna Hari Mizar, Raj Pradhan, Mani Rai, Deepak Acharya, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Sanjaya Lama and Surya Prasad Sharma. The four pros who failed to make the cut were Suman Sapkota, Gopal Nagarkoti, Jaya Ram Shrestha and Tham Bahadur Rai.

In amateur section, Rupak Acharya held on to lead despite hitting seven-over 74 for a total of 144. Ramesh Adhikari was a distant second at 154, while Prasanna Upreti was third at 155. Tashi Tsering, Dinesh Prajapati and Bhuwan Pudasaini also made the cut.

The event is the fifth under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2009-10. Out of the total cash prize of Rs 200,000, the top three winners will receive Rs 44,000, Rs 29,000 and Rs 21,000 respectively.