Khan breaks course record on first day

Lobsang, Thapa card hole-in-one on 13th

Kathmandu, June 4:

It was surely a day of records. Firstly when sub-par scores came at a premium, Shamim Khan fired a bogey free 10-under par 62 to grab the opening-day lead at the Surya Nepal Masters 2008 here at the Gokarna Forest Golf Resort and Spa today.

The Delhi lad thus erased the record of compatriot Vinod Kumar who had shot a 9-under 63 a couple of years ago. And while Khan was basking in glory, Tashi Lobsang, who is a local amateur and local pro Ram Thapa fired ace on the par-3 13th each to make it a unique record of two hole-in-ones on the same day and on the same hole.

Gurbaaz Mann, meanwhile, being challenged by the local sensation Shiva Ram Shrestha, fired a seven under 65 to be placed second while Shrestha was tied for the 10th position after shooting a 71.

Vinod Kumar and Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka shared the third spot with fine rounds of 4-under par 68. As many as four pros — Kunal Balhara, Ram Thapa, Vijay Kumar and Chirag Kumar — were tied for the fifth at 69. Harinder Gupta shot 70 to be in the ninth position while Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Ranjit Singh, Sujjan Singh and Shiva Ram shared the 10th position.

In the International Amateur Team event, Bangladesh took the pole position at 147 as Shahid and Shekhawat Hussein returned cards of 75 and 72 respectively. Nepal ‘A’ kept in touch with Rupak Acharya and Tashi Ghale combining together for a total of 149. The Indian pair of Tarun Ghogale and Karan Vasudev had a disappointing outing and were third at 156.

With birdies on first, third, fifth and seventh on front nine, Khan, 30, continued the momentum in the back nine with birdies on 10th, 13th, 15th and 18th and eagled the par-5 12th. The best part of his game was his iron-play where he peppered the flag every time and hit 17 greens-in-regulation and made 26 putts for the day.

The best local performer of the day was Ram Thapa who carded a 69 including the hole-in-one.

TOP SCORES AFTER 18 HOLES: 62 - Shamim Khan (Ind);

65 - Gurbaaz Mann (Ind);

68 - Vinod Kumar (Ind), Anura Rohana (SL); 69 - Kunal Balhara (Ind), Ram Thapa (Nep), Vijay Kumar (Ind), Chirag Kumar (Ind);

70 - Harinder Gupta (Ind);

71 - Shiv Ram Shrestha (Nep), Siddikur Rahman (B’desh), Ranjit Singh (Ind), Sujjan Singh (Ind).