Shrestha, Nagarkoti share lead

Kathmandu, February 7

Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha and Bhuwan Nagarkoti carded three-under 65 each to earn the share of lead on the first day of the Golfer Pilots NPGA Classic here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

Shrestha carded two-under 32 before taking the turn and shot one-under 33 on the latter half. He made a slow start with a bogey on the second before bouncing back carding birdies on the fourth, fifth and eighth holes.

Shrestha — who has already bagged four titles out of the five previous events of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2018-19 — then carded birdies on the 10th and 15th holes, while he faced a bogey on the 13th.

Nagarkoti, the winner of one event in the current season, shot one-over 35 on the front nine before bouncing back strongly in the back nine carding four-under 31. Nagarkoti dropped shots on the second and third holes and added another bogey on the ninth after carding two straight birdies on fourth and fifth. On the latter half, Nagarkoti sank an eagle on the 10th and carded birdies on the 12th and 17th holes.

On a day when just four players broke the par, Rame Magar faltered on the back nine and settled for a third place at two-under 66, while Dhana Bahadur Thapa (67) was fourth followed by former top pro Rabi Khadka (68).

Rame was the best performer on the front nine with a three-under 31 but he failed to keep the momentum going on the latter half and shot one-over 35. Rame made a bright start carding two straight birdies before adding two more on the fourth and sixth holes. He was undone by a bogey on the seventh. After taking the turn, Rame faced a double bogey on the 10th and dropped a shot on the next. He recovered with birdies on the 12th and 14th holes.

Army Club pro Thapa played one-over 35 on the front nine before carding two-under 32 on the latter half. Thapa carded birdies on the third and ninth but in between faced three bogeys on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes. On the bogey-free back nine, Thapa earned shots on the 10th and 14th holes.

Surya Prasad Sharma and Jayaram Shrestha shared the sixth position at one-over 69, while three others — Bikash Adhikari, Bhuwan Kumar Rokka and Sanjay Lama — were tied for seventh at 70. Sachin Bhattarai was 10th at 71.

In amateur section, SubashGhising is at the top with the score of three-over 71, while Binod Tamang is second at 73. PrajwalGurung is third at 74.

In all, 44 golfers — 31 pros and 13 amateurs — are taking part in the 54-hole tournament. After the second day, the golfers will move to Gokarna Golf Club for the final round.

Pilot-cum-golfers Capt Rabindra Purush Dhakal, Capt Deepak Thapaliya and Capt Vijay Pratap Singh are the main sponsors of the event, while Rara Instant Noodles, BB Airways and Sherpa Brewery are co-sponsors.

The event carries a cash purse of Rs 300,000. Top three pros will earn Rs 55,000, Rs 37,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. The event will end with a Pro-Am event at Gokarna on Saturday.