Lama takes two-stroke lead

Kathmandu, December 9:

Sanjay Lama took a two-stroke lead over Ramesh Nagarkoti after the first day of the Ghana Shyam Thapa’s Golden Jubilee of Golf Open Championship here at the Tribhuvan Army Officers’ Golf Course today.

Lama carded four-under 68, while Nagarkoti brought in the second best card of two-under 70. Lama and Nagarkoti were the only golfers who played under-par rounds today. Starting the day with a birdie on the first hole, Lama shot one-under 35 on the front nine. On the back nine, Lama had birdies on four holes -- 12, 13, 16 and 18 -- and a bogey on the par-3 15th for a score of three-under 33.

Ramesh Nagarkoti sank two eagles in his round of two-under 70. Nagarkoti sank an eagle on the par-5 third hole and on his return he had another eagle on the same hole. His two-under 34 on the front nine also included two birdies and as many bogeys. In the back-nine score of even-par 36, Nagarkoti had three bogeys against a lone birdie.

The Surya Nepal Masters 2007 champion Deepak Thapa Magar and Rabi Khadka carded even-par 72 to share the third position.

The winner of the first three events under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour, Shiva Ram Shrestha, carded one-over 73 for the fifth position. After a round of one-over on the front nine, Shiva Ram played an even-par 36 with two birdies and as many bogeys on back nine. Deepak Neupane was sixth after a round of two-over 74, while Pashupati Sharma, who finished second at the Surya Nepal Western Open in November, along with home club teaching pro Radhe Shyam Thapa and Bishnu Neupane finished joint seventh with four-over 76.

Gokarna pro Deepak Acharya and Ram Thapa were joint 10th at 78. The Surya Nepal Western Open champion Mani Rai shared the 14th position with CB Bhandari and Rajendra Phuyal at eight-over 80.

Rupak Acharya was the best among the amateurs with two-over 74. Two strokes adrift was Dhana Thapa, who carded four-over 76. Tashi Tsering was third at 77.

In all, 35 golfers — 23 pros and 12 amateurs — are taking part in the fifth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2008. The cut will be applied for the top 15 pros and six amateurs after the second round.

SCORES AFTER DAY I: 68 - Sanjay Lama; 70 - Ramesh Nagarkoti; 72 - Rabi Khadka, Deepak Thapa Magar; 73 - Shiva Ram Shrestha, 74 - Deepak Neupane, 76- Pashupati Sharma, Radhe Shyam Thapa, Bishnu Neupane, 78- Deepak Acharya, Ram Thapa, 79 - Surya Sharma, Krishna Hari Mizar, 80 - CB Bhandari, Mani Rai, Rajendra Phuyal,

81 - Krishna Man Rajbahak,

82 - Jaya Ram Shrestha,

84 - Sabin Sapkota, 85- Suman Sapkota, 87 - Sachin Bhattarai, 90 - Deepak Baral, Ram Krishna Shrestha. AMATEURS: 74 - Rupak Acharya, 76- Dhana Thapa, 77 - Tashi Tsering, 79 - Bhuwan Pudasaini, 81 - NJ Rayamajhi, 86 - Puskar Rajbahak, 87 - Mithun Rai, 88 - Tashi Ghale, Suman Rai, Amit Bogati, 91 -Dipendra Rayamajhi, 97- Prasanna Upreti.