Khan fires 8-under, extends lead on Day II

Kathmandu, June 5:

Shamim Khan’s hot putter spoke once again as the little master fired eight birdies to sign a bogey-free card of 64 for a total of 18-under 126.

The diminutive golfer from India was a clear seven-shot ahead of second placed compatriot Gurbaaz Mann who added 68 to his overnight 65 as the proceedings of the second round of the Surya Nepal Masters 2008 came to an end at the Gokarna Forest Golf Resort here on Thursday.

As many as 53 pros including 10 Nepali pros made it to the money-making rounds after the cut was applied at 10-over 144. Vijay Kumar was lying third at 10-under 134 after shooting a fine 7-under par 67 in the second round.

Sri Lankan Anura Rohana was fourth at 137 while Vinod Kumar was fifth at 138. Amardip Malik and Sujjan Singh shared the sixth position while Kunal Balhara, Harinder Gupta and Chirag Kumar were tied for the eighth position at 140.

Nepal’s newest sensation Shiva Ram Shrestha was the best amongst local pros at 143. Sachin Battarai was tied for the 15th position at 145.

Khan began from where he left in the first round. Not even the torrential rain could stop his march to another masterly compiled round. He found another 17 greens in regulation and maintained his rhythm. Making a birdie on the opening hole, sinking a 30-footer, Shamim made four more birdies on his front nine — third, fifth, sixth and seventh. Khan was in a trance as he hit his tee shot on the 10th in the green side bunker. Yet he managed to chip-in from there to go to six-under. Saving strokes on the 12th and 13th, Khan ended the day at 8-under.

In the International Amateur event, Bangladesh continued to lead with their amateurs Shahid and Shekhawat Hussein totalling 291 while Nepal `A’ were second at 299. India were lying third at 303 while Sri Lanka were fourth at 315.

In the media’s longest drive competition, Suman Shrestha emerged the winner, while Sri Bikram Bhandari came second. Pratima Banskota won the ladies section competition. The three winners received gift hampers from John Players. Earlier, pro Pashupati Sharma and Director of Tiger Sports Sayeed Sanadi conducted the media clinic.