Karki, Rai share lead

Sukra Bahadur Rai
Sukra Bahadur Rai

Kathmandu, January 10

Tanka Bahadur Karki earned the share of the lead with fellow national team member Sukra Bahadur Rai after the first round of the NGA-NSC Open Golf Championship here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

Karki and Rai — who won the team trophy of the Bhutan Amateur Championship in September last year and finished second in the recently-concluded Bangladesh Amateur Championship — returned the matching cards of three-over 71 at the par-68 RNGC course.

Karki, the Bhutan Amateur Championship’s overall winner, took the turn at four-over 38 and carded one-under 33 on the latter half. Karki had a tough luck as he suffered a double bogey on the first hole and faced three straight bogeys from the fifth. Karki then carded a birdie on the ninth.

Karki carded a birdie on the 13th but dropped a shot on the next hole. He signed off the day with a birdie on the final hole to each the share of the lead with his national squad teammate Rai.

Rai shot two-over 36 before taking the turn and added one-over 35 on the back nine. Rai began the round saving pars on first two holes before dropping a shot on the third. He recovered with a birdie on the fourth but went on to drop shots on the sixth and seventh holes.

The back nine was more eventful for Rai. He dropped shots on the 10th and added three straight bogeys from the 15th hole. In between Rai carded a birdie on the 11th and sank an eagle on the 13th hole.

Suresh Tamang was third at six-over 74, followed by Navaraj Thapa (75). Subash Ghising, Bharat Bastakoti and Bipin Tamang shared the fifth position at eight-over 76, while Binod Tamang and Suman Pariyar were tied for eighth at 77. Amit Bogati and Sundar Rai shared the 10th position at 78.

In team section, Central Region posted a total score of 147 to take a two-shot lead over Nirvana Country Club. The Central Region team included Tanka Bahadur Karki (71), Subash Ghising (76) and Sandip Tamang (80). Nirvana team of Sukra Bahadur Rai (71), Yubraj Bhujel (80) and Sundar Rai (78) totalled 149. Western Region and Royal Nepal Golf Club shared the third position at 153.

A total of 40 players from seven teams — Eastern Region, Western Region, Central Region, RNGC, Gokarna Golf Club, Nirvana Country Club and Tribhuvan Army Officers Golf Club — are taking part in the event. Team event will conclude after second round, while top 21 golfers in individual category will make it to final round.