Holders Rai, Sherpa take lead; India’s Shah on top

Kathmandu, December 11

Defending champion Sukra Bahadur Rai opened the CMS Faldo Series Nepal Championship campaign with a three-stroke lead here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.

The national team member Rai carded four-over 76 in the boys’ Under-21 age category. Bipin Tamang was at the second position after he shot seven-over 79, followed by Sudeep Tamang, a distant third at 16-over 86.

Rai carded one-over 37 on the front nine and played three-over 39 on the latter half. Rai carded a birdie on the third hole and faced a double bogey five on the eighth hole before taking the turn. On the back nine,  Rai carded a birdie on the 12th before dropping five shots on three holes — bogeys on the 14th and 15th and a triple bogey on the 17th. He recovered with a birdie on the final hole.

Indian golfer Monish Y Shah shot five-over 77 to take one-stroke lead over Rahul BK in the boys’ U-16 age group competition. Binod Tamang, Subash Ghising and Ritesh Tamang shared the third position at seven-over 79.

Shah began the day with a birdie before dropping shots on the fourth and eighth holes to take the turn at one-over 37. The Indian player then played four-over 40 on the back nine that included four straight bogeys from the 12th hole.

In girls’ section, defending champion Pratima Sherpa opened up with a nine-stroke lead over Kashmira Shah. Sherpa shot nine-over 81, while Shah fired 90. Juny Gurung (97) and Prativa Rai (99) are the other two golfers in the girls’ category.

Sherpa faltered to seven-over 43 on the front nine before carding a two-over 38 on the latter half. She dropped a shot on the first hole before carding a birdie on the next. She then faced bogeys on the fifth, sixth and ninth holes apart from suffering double bogeys on the seventh and eighth. Sherpa began the back nine with three straight bogeys and two more on the 14th and 17th holes. She sank an eagle on the 12th and carded a birdie on the final hole.

A total of 24 golfers are taking part in the 54-hole tournament jointly organised by Nepal Golf Association and Gokarna Forest Resort under the sponsorship of ISME Pvt Ltd. The winners of all the three categories will earn berths in the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final to be held at the at Laguna Lang Co in Danang, Vietnam in March next year.