HIMALAYAN BANK CUP GOLF: Acharya takes five-stroke lead

Kathmandu, March 14:

Nepal’s top pro Deepak Acharya extended his over-night one-stroke lead to five strokes at the Himalayan Bank Cup Open Golf Tournament here at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort and Spa today.

Acharya, who is also the golf director at the GFGR, played a two-over 74 in the second round, but was enough for a five-stroke lead over Deepak Neupane and Deepak Thapa Magar, who finished the day at joint second at four-over 148.

Neupane, who was third after first round with 74, carded another 74, while Thapa Magar, who was joint fourth with Sabin Sapkota, had a round of one-over 73. Sapkota slipped to fourth with two-over 74.

Chuda Bahadur Bhandari had a disastrous day as the Royal Nepal Golf Club amateur carded 8-over 80 and slipped to fifth from second spot with a total of six-over 150. Amateur Surya Prasad Sharma was next with 152, one stroke ahead of his brother Pashupati Sharma, the other pro from GFGR, amateur Ravi Khadka and pro Toran Shahi.

Acharya, who carded three-under 69 on the first day, failed to maintain his performance in his home course. In the birdie-less front nine, he had bogeys in the fourth and eighth for a two-over 36.

He had an eagle in the par-5 12th, but three consecutive bogeys in Hole Nos 14, 15 and 16 dashed his hopes of playing better in the back nine. However, he returned with even-par 36 after the lone birdie in the par-4 18th.

Deepak Neupane’s one-over 37 in both the front and back nine had a birdie and two bogeys each. Thapa Magar carded even-par 36 in the front nine with three birdies and three bogeys, while his back nine of 37 included two birdies and three bogeys.

Sabin Sapkota bettered his first-round score of three-over 75 with two-over 74. He started with a birdie in the first hole and had two other in the third and seventh, but bogeys in the fourth, fifth and eighth brought him to even-par 36 in the front nine. He had four bogeys in the back nine along with two birdies. Impressive in the first round with two-under 70, C B Bhandari confronted the biggest frustration of the day with a round of eight-over 80. He carded four-over 40 in both the front and back nine.

SCORES AFTER SECOND ROUND: 143 - Deepak Acharya; 148 - Deepak Neupane, Deepak Thapa Magar; 149 – Sabin Sapkota; 150 – C B Bhandari; 152 – Surya Prasad Sharma; 153 – Pashupati Sharma, Ravi Khadka, Toran Shahi; 155 – Ramesh Nagarkoti; 157 – Bhimsen Karki; 158 – Rajendra Phuyal; 159 – Ram Krishna Shrestha; 160 – Rupak Acharya, Mani Rai; 161 – Sachin Bhattarai, R S Thapa, Rajan Thapa; 165 – Ram Thapa; 166 – Prakash Neupane; 167 – Raju Pariyar; 171 – Lobsang Tashi; 173 – Deepak Baral; 177 – Krishna Hari; 178 – Tsultrim Lama; 182 – GK Gurung; 185 – Mathee Sae-Ear.