Magar opens up six-shot lead, closes in on title

Kathmandu, March 30

Rame Magar closed in on the title as he opened up six-stroke lead after the third round of the Surya Nepal Kathmandu Open here at the par-68 Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

The home club pro carded one-under 67 to post the 54-hole total of five-under 199, while Gokarna Golf Club pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Nepal No 1 Shivaram Shrestha were six strokes off the pace at 205. Nagarkoti carded one-under 67, while Shrestha shot two-under 68 in the third round.

Magar, who carded record-equalling seven-under 61 on the first day and shot a three-over 71 in the second round, played even-par 34 before taking the turn and carded one-under 33 on the back nine. He began the third round with a birdie and dropped a shot on the third before carding another birdie on the next hole. He then faced a bogey on the sixth before taking the turn. On the back nine, Magar carded birdies on the 11th and 13th against a bogey on the 16th hole.

Nagarkoti played two-over 36 on the front nine that included bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes. He bounced back on the back nine with a three-under 31 with the help of birdies on the 10th, 11th and 18 holes. Likewise, top pro Shrestha played one-over 35 on the front nine and carded three-under 31 on the latter half. After carding birdies on the first and fourth holes, Shrestha faced bogeys on the fifth, seventh and eighth holes. On the back nine, he carded birdies on the 11th, 13th and 15th holes.

Surya Prasad Sharma slipped down to fourth at two-over 206 after he shot a four-over 72, while three pros Sanjay Lama (69), Dhana Bahadur Thapa (67) and Bhuwan Kumar Rokka shared the fifth position at 207. Rokka produced the best card of the day at four-under 64 that included a Hole-in-One on par-3 12th. Bikash Adhikari, who shot a second straight 71 was eighth at 211, while Krishna Man Rajbahak (72) and Rabi Khadka (70) shared ninth spot at 212.

In amateur section, Phuntsok N Lama surged to the top of the leaderboard with the 54-hole total of 217 after he played one-over 69. Sukra Bahadur Rai (73) was two shots adrift the leader at 219, while Tanka Bahadur Karki (73) was third at 221. Basanta Raj Gurung, who led for the first two rounds, slipped to fourth at 223 after he faltered to a 11-over 79. The fifth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17 carries a total cash purse of Rs 500,000. Top three pros after Friday’s final round will receive Rs 85,000, Rs 58,000 and Rs 45,000 respectively.