Shahi fourth after first round

Kathmandu, September 2:

Nepali professional golfer Toran Bikram Shahi played a brilliant round of four under 67 to finish fourth on the first day of the PGTI Players Championship at Poona Golf Club on Tuesday.

Playing against the top Indian golfers like Mukesh Kumar, Rahul Ganapathy, Harendra Gupta, Harmeet Kahlon, Shamim Khan and Vijay Kumar, Shahi was three strokes adrift the first round leader C Muniyappa and one shot behind Gaurav Pratap Singh and Chiragh Kumar, who are joint second at five under 66.

Another Nepali golfer Shiva Ram Shrestha, who finished at the top 10 in the Tamil Nadu Open Golf Championship in Chennai on Saturday, was tied for the 23rd with six others after carding one over 72.

Shahi, who failed to make the cut at the Tamil Nadu Open Golf Championship, was flawless in the front nine, having birdies on the second and ninth hole for a total of 33. On his journey back, he started with even-par on the 10th but dropped a shot in the next round. Shahi, however, managed birdies on the 14th, 15th and 18th hole to finish the back nine at 34.

Shiva Ram Shrestha was far from his form dropping shots on the first and eighth hole and managed to salvage a stroke with a birdie on the ninth. He also had another birdie in the 13th but a bogey on the 17th meant he was tied with MD Salim, Rafick Ali Mollah, Mukesh Kumar, Harmeet Kahlon, Vivek Bhandari and Vikrant Chopra.

Organised by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the tournament

carries a total prize purse of IRs 3 million. The tournament is the western leg of the PGTI Players Championships 2008.