Sukra Bahadur Rai and Sanjay Lama shared the lead after the first round of the Surya Nepal Western Open here at the par- 69 Himalayan Golf Course today.

They carded one-under 68 to stay at the top of the leaderboard and were one shot ahead of Bal Bhadra Rai, who played evenpar 69. Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti and top amateur Subash Tamang shared the fourth position at one-over 70.

Co-leader Rai, who won the Dharan Open at his home course last month, played even-par 34 on the front nine before carding one-under 34 on the latter half. He went birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey on the first four holes before saving pars in the remaining five on the front nine. After taking the turn, Rai faced a bogey on the 12th before carding birdies on the 13th and 18th holes.

Lama carded one-under 33 on the front nine where he dropped a shot on the fifth against birdies on the first and seventh holes. On the back nine, Lama saved pars on all nine holes. Dharan pro, Bal Bhadra Rai carded even-par rounds on both halves and his round included three each birdies and bogeys.

No 1 pro carded even-par 34 on the front nine before playing one-over 36 on the latter half, while amateur Tamang recovered well on the back nine with the score of one-under 34 after taking the turn at twoover 36.

Binod Tamang and Surya Prasad Sharma shared the sixth position at two-over 71, while defending champion Dhana Bahadur Thapa, Niraj Tamang, Basanta Raj Gurung, Bhuwan Kumar Rokka and amateur Ritesh Tamang were tied for eighth at three-over 72.

A total of 51 golfers - 37 pros and 14 amateurs - are taking part in the third event under Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2021.

Cut will be applied after the second round with top 21 pros and at least six amateurs making the cut for the final round. The event carries a cash purse of Rs 735,000 and the top three pros will receive Rs 130,000, Rs 84,000 and Rs 60,000 respectively.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 7, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.