Sukra Bahadur Rai maintained his two-stroke lead after the second round of the Surya Nepal Central Open here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.

Rai carded two-under 70 to post the 36-hole total of seven-under 137 in the third event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2021-22.

Rai was two strokes ahead of top amateur Subash Tamang, who carded three-under 69 to add to his overnight score of 70.

Rai carded six-under 30 on the front nine but he faltered on the latter half scoring four-over 40 after he faced three double bogeys.

He carded birdies on the second and third before sinking an eagle on the sixth.

Rai then carded two more birdies on the seventh and eighth before taking the turn. On the back nine, he carded birdies on the first and last holes but suffered three double bogeys on the 12th, 16th and 17 holes.

The 13th South Asian Games double gold medallist, Tamang took the turn at one-under 35 and added two-under 34 on the back nine. After dropping a shot on the second, Tamang carded birdies on the last two holes of the front nine.

After the turn, Tamang carded birdies on the 10th and 13th apart from sinking an eagle on the 15th hole but he was undone by bogeys on the 14th and 16th holes.

Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti shared the third position with Rabi Khadka at four-under 140. Nagarkoti carded second straight 70, while Khadka played a round of three-under 69.

Rame Magar was fifth at 141 after he played even-par 72, while amateur Sadbhav Acharya (71) and Niraj Tamang (75) shared sixth position at three-over 147.

Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan (76) was eighth at 150, while Pradeep Kumar Lama (72), Deepak Magar (72), Krishna Man Rajbahak (72) and Dhana Bahadur Thapa (75) shared the ninth place at seven-over 151.

A total of 23 pros and six amateurs made it to the final two rounds after cut was applied at 12-over 156. Pros Bal Bhadra Rai, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Jayaram Shrestha, Bipin Tamang, Kamal Tamang, Dinesh Prajapati, Sanjay Lama, Binod Tamang, Bhuwan Kumar Rokka and Tirtha Poudel survived the cut.

Likewise, Mithun Rai, Shaswat Pradhan, Yubaraj Bhujel and Sandesh Khanal were the other amateurs who made it to the final two rounds.

The tournament carries a cash purse of Rs 775,000 and top three pros will receive Rs 135,000, Rs 88,000 and Rs 65,000 respectively. Other pros in top 21 will also earn their share of cash prizes.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 13, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.