Kathmandu, May 13
Jayaram Shrestha began the Surya Nepal Premier Golf Championship with onestroke lead here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.
Shrestha carded four-under 68 to stay at the top after the first day of the ninth and final event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2018-19.
Young amateur Subash Tamang was one shot behind the leader after he shot a bogey-free 69.
In the absence of his younger brother and No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha, who is undergoing training in the USA, Jayaram Shrestha took the baton and made a flying start. After saving pars on the first two holes, Shrestha sank an eagle on the third.
He faced a bogey on the fourth but bounced back to card birdies on the fifth, seventh and ninth holes to take the turn at four-under 32.
Shrestha, however, failed to keep the momentum going on the back nine before settling for even-par 36. He faced a bogey on the 16th and carded a birdie on the final hole.
Second-placed Tamang carded two-under 34 on the front nine and added one-under 35 on the latter half. He carded birdies on the third, seventh and 12th holes.
Surya Prasad Sharma, Krishna Man Rajbhak, and Chuda Bahadur Bhandari shared the third position at two-under 70. Likewise, Rame Magar, Bikash Adhikari and amateur Tanka Bahadur Karki were tied for sixth at one-under 71.
Dipendra Rayamajhi and Sachin Bhattarai shared the ninth position along with amateurs Tashi Tshiring and Binod Tamang at even-par 72. Likewise, Bhu Bahadur Gurung, Sanjok Moktan, Dhana Thapa, Bal Bhadra Rai, Deepak Acharya and Deepak Magar were further behind with the matching score of one-over 73.
The event can produce a new Nepal No 1 pro for the first time in nine years but chief contenders Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Sanjay Lama failed to make desired start.
Defending champion Nagarkoti and Lama opened the campaign with threeover 75.
In all, 40 pros and 20 amateurs are taking part in the tournament which carries a cash purse of Rs 1.26 million.
Cut will be applied after second round with top 24 pros and at least six amateurs making it to the final two rounds. Top three pros will receive Rs 230,000, Rs 140,000 and Rs 95,000 respectively.
A version of this article appears in print on May 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.