Magar sets course on fire, Nagarkoti four behind

Kathmandu, March 28

Rame Magar set the Royal Nepal Golf Club course on fire with a round of seven-under 61 on the first day of the Surya Nepal Kathmandu Open here today.

The home club pro carded six birdies and sank an eagle in the round that included a lone bogey. Magar became the first pro to post seven-under at the RNGC, which was improved to par-68 a couple of months ago. By carding a 61, Magar equalled the course record jointly held by a couple of golfer including Nepal No 1 Shivaram Shrestha and Deepak Acharya.

Bhuwan Nagarkoti of Gokarna Golf Club was four strokes off the pace after he shot three-under 65, while Army Club pro Sanjay Lama was third at one-under 67 despite having seven birdies and an eagle.

Magar carded three-under 31 before taking the turn and added four-under 30 on the back nine. He made a bright start with two straight birdies before facing a bogey on the next. Magar then sank an eagle on the fourth and saved pars on next five holes. After taking the turn, Magar carded birdies on the 10th, 13th, 14th and 17th holes in the bogey-free back nine.

Nagarkoti also took the turn at three-under 31 and played even-par 34 on the back nine. He carded a birdie on the first before sinking an eagle on the third hole and saved pars on six others on the front nine. His back nine included a birdie on the 13th and a bogey on the next hole.

Lama had an eventful day. He shot one-under 33 on the front nine and played even-par 34 on the back nine. Lama carded birdies on the first, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes but faced a quadruple bogey seven on the par-3 third. On the back nine, he had birdies on the 10th and 14th holes and sank an eagle on the 13th but again faced a double bogey on the 13th and had bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes.

Krishna Man Rajbahak and Nepal No 1 pro Shiva Ram Shrestha shared the fourth position at even-par 68, while four pros — Surya Prasad Sharma, Dhana Bahadur Thapa, Bikash Adhikari and Yelamber Singh Adhikari — were tied for sixth at one-over 69.

In amateur section, Basanta Raj Gurung took the lead at three-over 71, while Sukra Bahadur Rai was one shot behind at second. Tenzing Tsering was further two shots adrift at third.

In all, 40 golfers — 29 pros and 11 amateurs — are taking part in the fifth tournament under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17. Cut will be applied after the second round with top 21 pros and at least six amateurs making it to the final two rounds. Out of the total cash purse of Rs 500,000, top three pros will receive Rs 85,000, Rs 58,000 and Rs 45,000 respectively.