Lama one stroke ahead of Rai, Majhi

Dharan, December 23

Sanjay Lama carded three-under 67 to take one stroke lead after the first round of the Surya Nepal Eastern Open here at the Nirvana Country Club today.

Lama took the turn at five-under 30 before settling for a two-over 37 on the back nine. The Tribhuvan Army Officers Golf Club pro Lama was one shot ahead of local pro Bal Bhadra Rai and amateur Shiva Kumar Majhi, who fired two-under 68s, in the third event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2015-16.

The winner of the season opener Central Open, Lama sank two eagles on the third and sixth holes and carded a birdie on the eighth hole to finish the front nine at impressive five-under 35. He failed to keep the momentum going on the latter half and faced bogeys on the 11th and 18th holes.

Local pro Rai overcame a disastrous front nine to post two-under 68. He faced four bogeys on the second, fifth, seventh and nine holes against a lone birdie on the three-over 38 front nine. After taking the turn, Rai carded birdies on the 12th and 13th before sinking an eagle on the par-4 14th hole. He then added another birdie on the 16th hole to cap a memorable day on his home course.

Top pro Shivaram Shrestha, Bhuwan Nagarkoti shared the fourth position along with amateur golfer Sukra Bahadur Rai at one-under 69, while Dhana Thapa and Tham Bahadur Rai were tied on seventh after carding even-par 70. Purna Sharma and Rabi Khadka shared the 10th position at one-over 71.

Leader in the amateur section, Majhi played even-par 35 on the front nine and added two-under 33 on the latter half. He carded birdies on second, sixth, 10th, 16th and 17th against bogeys on the first, fourth and 13th holes. The first day of the tournament produced two aces. Rame Magar had Hole-in-One on the eighth, while Ramesh Adhikari did that on the ninth hole.

In all, 50 golfers, 27 pros and 23 amateurs, are taking part in the tournament organised by the Nepal PGA under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. Cut will be applied after the second round with top 21 pros and amateurs making the cut for the final two rounds. The event carries a total cash purse of Rs 467,500. Top three pros will receive Rs 100,000, Rs 63,000 and Rs 45,000 respectively. Others in the top 21 will also receive their share of cash prizes.