Shiva Ram leapfrogs Acharya

Kathmandu, March 17:

Shiva Ram Shrestha played like a champion to take a three-stroke lead over Deepak Acharya after the second round of the CMS Cup Golf Championship here at the 67-par Royal Nepal Golf Course today.

Defending champion Shiva Ram, who was third at four-over 71 after the first round, brought in the day’s best card of three-under 64 for a total one-over 135. Overnight leader Acharya had a forgettable back nine as the Gokarna Golf Club came in with the score of three-over 70 that put him three strokes back at four-over 138. Home Club pro Ramesh Nagarkoti shot two-over 69 to climb up to third with the score of 10-over 144.

Rabi Khadka, who was second at three-over 70 after the opening round, carded eight-over 75 to slip two steps down to fourth at 145. The first edition winner Deepak Thapa Magar came in top five at 148.

Out of the 23 professional golfers, a total of 16 pros — top 15 plus tie — made the cut. Sachin Bhattarai, Pashupati Sharma and Radhe Shyam Thapa were the biggest casulties as they missed the 28-over cut. Suman Sapkota and Ram Krishna Shrestha also failed to make it through, while Uttam KC and Ram Thapa were disqualified for not signing their first-round cards.

Surya Sharma (151), Bishnu Neupane (153), Sabin Sapkota (153), Deepak Neupane (154), Krishna Hari Mizar (154), Sanjay Lama (155), Jaya Ram Shrestha (155), CB Bhandari (159), Mani Rai (159), Krishna Man Rajbahak (162) and Rajan Thapa (162) came in top 15.

Shiva Ram, the only player who played under-par in the event so far, had a dream start as he sank three consecutive birdies after a par-putt on the first hole. After a bogey-free three-under 30 on the front nine, Shiva Ram had two birdies and as many bogeys on the back nine.

“I was on course of even better score but last four holes shattered my dreams,” said Shiva Ram, who was five-under after 14 holes. “I missed green on the 15th hole, three-putted the 16th and missed birdie putts on the last two holes,” he added.

Overnight leader Acharya carded four birdies against two bogeys in his front nine score of two-under 31. But all went wrong on the back nine. Acharya, who managed a par-putt despite finding water on the 10th hole, dropped three strokes in the next three holes and had a double bogey on the last hole.

“I was playing well and was on course of another good day. I lost momentum after finding water on Hole No 10 and dropped shots on the next three holes,” said the Gokarna pro.

Nagarkoti, who was joint fifth after the opening day, recovered on the second round with a two-over 69. The home club pro had three bogeys against a lone birdie on the front nine. He sank a birdie and dropped one shot on the back nine.

In amateur section, Dhana Thapa’s 13-over 80 for a total of 24-over 158 was enough to put him on top. Two strokes adrift was Wanchen Dhondup, who shot eight-over 75 for a total of 160. Tham Bahadur Thapa (162), Rupak Acharya (164), Maj Madan Gurung (166), Suman Rai (166), Bhuwan Pudasaini (168) and Dinesh Nagarkoti (169) completed the top eight who made the cut.