Khadka powers to second round lead

POKHARA: Rabi Khadka powered himself into the second round lead after carding two-over 75 at the Surya Nepal Western Open here at the Himalayan Golf Course today.

Trailing by three-shots to overnight leader Rajan Thapa, Rabi go into the final round with two-stroke lead over Nepal’s No 1 Shiva Ram Shrestha. The Golfer Pilot NPGA Classic winner Rabi had a steady game on the front nine, making a birdie on the sixth hole without dropping any shot for a one-under 36.

On his return, Rabi found water on par-5, 13th to drop a shot. He also dropped further shots on the last two holes for a total of 39. Rabi leads the overall standings with six-over 152. Rabi was happy with the way he played today. “I will try to maintain the consistency in the final round,” added Rabi.

Shiva Ram, who was tied at fourth place after first day, climbed up to second with a card of one-over 74. The Nepal No 1 had a poor start dropping a shot on the first hole but came back with a birdie on the very next hole. His ball found water on the par-5 fourth and ended up with a double-bogey. He dropped a shot on the next hole but had birdie on the sixth. Shiva Ram had yet another bogey on the par-four seventh before completing the front nine score of three-over 40 with pars on the last two holes.

On the back nine, Shiva Ram dropped a shot on the par-5 12th before finishing strongly with birdies on the 14th, 17th and 18th hole for a total of two-under 34. Shiva Ram termed the second day as good ones.

“I could have done better but made a couple of mistakes. I will give my best to clinch my first win for this season,” added Shiva Ram. Shiva Ram, who carded seven-over 80 on the first day is two-stroke off the lead with eight-over 154.

Surya Sharma lie third after the second straight 79 for a total score of 12-over 158. Overnight leader Rajan dropped to fourth after a disastrous 12-over 85 for a total of 159. Amateur Rupak Acharya shot a round of seven-over 80 to lead the amateur field by 13 strokes over Pradeep Lama. After the completion of 36 holes 20 pros made the cut and will be joined by five amateurs in the final round. Pro Ram Thapa was disqualified for not signing the scorecard despite making the cut.

Scores after Second Round (Pros): 152 (77, 75) Rabi Khadka; 154 (80, 74) Shiva Ram Shrestha; 158 (79, 79) Surya Sharma; 159 (74, 85) Rajan Thapa; 162 (86, 76) Sanjay Lama; 163 (83, 80) Pashupati Sharma; 164 (82, 82) Deepak Acharya; 166 Mani Rai (85, 81), Sabin Sapkota (85, 81), Deepak Neupane (84, 82); 168 (82, 86) Deepak Thapa Magar; 173 (88, 85) Sachin Bhattarai; 174 (88, 86) Krishna Hari Mizar; 175 (87, 88) Ramesh Nagarkoti; 176 (90, 86) Tham Bahadur Rai; 177 (92, 85) Jay Ram Shrestha; 178 Ram Krishna Shrestha (91, 87), Uttam KC (92, 86); 179 Krishna Man Rajbahak (91, 88), CB Bhandari (93, 86). Amateurs: 161 (80, 81) Rupak Acharya; 174 (91, 83) Pradeep K Lama, 180 (95, 85) Bhuwan Pudasaini; 182 Samundra Giri (100, 81), Maj Madan Gurung (95, 87)