Magar takes two-stroke lead after second round

Kathmandu, March 29

Rame Magar took a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Surya Nepal Kathmandu Open here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

The home club pro, who had carded record-equalling seven-under 61 in the first round, faltered to three-over 71 to post the four-under 132 total after 36 holes. He saw his four-stroke lead cut down by two shots after fellow RNGC pro Surya Prasad Sharma produced the best card of the day at three-under 65 for two-under 134.

Magar carded a birdie to start the day on a positive note but he could not maintain the tempo and dropped a shot on the second. He had another birdie-bogey run on the fourth and fifth holes before Magar faced a double bogey on the ninth to take the turn at two-over 36. On the back nine, Magar saved all pars except for a bogey on the 15th hole.

Sharma carded a three-under 31 with the help of birdies on the second and ninth and an eagle on the fourth against a lone bogey on the seventh. He then played an even-par 34 on the back nine that included birdies on the 10th and 16th against a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Army Club pro Sanjay Lama (71) and Gokarna Golf Club pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti (73) shared the third position at two-over 138. Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha (71) was fifth at 139, while Bikash Adhikari (71), Dhana Bahadur Thapa (71) and Krishna Man Rajbahak (72) shared the sixth position at four-over 140.

Pashupati Sharma (70), Yelamber Singh Adhikari (73) and Rabi Khadka (70) shared the ninth position at six-over 142. Bhuwan Kumar Rokka, Ramesh Nagarkoti, Deepak Magar, Jayaram Shrestha, Chuda Bahadur Bhandary, Shiva Ram Poudel, Prakash Neupane, Sachin Prasad Bhattarai, Dinesh Nagarkoti, Pradeep Kumar Lama and Ashish Pariyar also survived the cut which was applied at 17-over 153.

Six amateur golfers also made it to the final two rounds. Basanta Raj Gurung posted a total of eight-over 144 to remain at top of the leaderboard. He played five-over 73 in the second round. Sukra Bahadur Rai was two shots off the pace at second after he shot a 74, while Tanka Bahadur Karki (71) was third at 148. Phuntsok N Lama, Tenzing Tsering and Bipin Tamang also made the cut.

A total of 40 players, 29 pros and 11 amateurs, are taking part in the fifth tournament under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17. 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. Others in the top 21 will also receive their share of cash prizes.