Shrestha fires personal best nine-under

Kathmandu, November 7

Top pro Shivaram Shrestha carded personal best round of nine-under 63 to extend the lead after the second round of the Surya Nepal Central Open here at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club today.

The Nepal No 1 golfer from RNGC posted the 36-hole total of 15-under 129. He had twice carded eight-under — in the NPGA President’s Cup at his home club and Ghana’s Open at the Tribhuvan Army Officers Golf Club two years ago.

Shrestha, who carded six-under 66 on the first day, opened up a seven-stroke lead over his clubmate Surya Prasad Sharma, who shot a five-under 67 for the total score of eight-under 136. RNGC duo Jayaram Shrestha (70) and Deepak Magar (73) shared the third position at even-par 144.

Shrestha capped second successive bogey-free round as he carded seven birdies and an eagle. He took the turn at seven-under 29 and shot two-under 34 on the back nine. He began the day with a birdie and went on to add four more on the third, fourth, sixth and ninth apart from an eagle on the seventh hole. He carded birdies on the 12th and 14th holes and saved pars on seven others on the back nine.

Shrestha said he was really feeling good after a satisfactory round. “I should have shattered the course record but I missed a couple of easy chances. But I am happy that I could come up with personal best score,” said Shrestha. “I putted really well today and that helped me in setting the pace.”

Second-placed Sharma carded three-under 33 on the front nine and added two-under 34 on the latter half. He carded a birdie on the third and added three straight from the fifth before dropping a shot on the ninth. After taking the turn, Sharma earned birdies on the 10th, 11 and 17th holes, while he faced a bogey on the 14th.

Jayaram Shrestha carded three-under 33 with the help of birdies on the first, fourth and sixth holes. On the one-over 37 back nine, he faced bogeys on the 10th and 17th before signing off with a birdie on the final hole. Veteran pro Magar faced two bogeys against as many birdies on his way to playing even-par 36 on the front nine, while he dropped a shot on the 16th hole to finish the back nine at one-over 37.

Home club pro Bhuvan Nagarkoti moved up to fifth at one-over 145 after he carded one-under 71, while former top pro Rabi Khadka shot second straight 73 for two-over 146. Sanjay Lama made a significant move in the leaderboard as he jumped 20 places to seventh at four-over 148 after firing a three-under 69. Dhana Bahadur Thapa (72), Bhuwan Kumar Rokka (73), Bhu Bahadur Gurung (73) and Rame Magar (77) were tied eighth at five-over 149.

The cut was applied at 10-over 154 with Yelamber Singh Adhikari, Pradeep Kumar Lama, Pashupati Sharma, Bal Bhadra Rai, Kishan Kaliraj Sunar, Deepak Acharya, Bikash Adhikari, Dipendra Rayamajhi, Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan and Kamal Tamang making it to the money-making final two rounds.

In amateur section, Sunil KC and Phuntsok N Lama shared the lead at nine-over 153. Overnight leader KC faltered to seven-over 79, while Lama shot a 76. Subash Ghising was third at 15-over 159 after he shot four-over 76. Mithun Rai, Ramesh Gurung and Bipin Tamang also made the cut in amateur section.

A total of 32 pros and 10 amateurs are taking part in the second event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2017-18. Out of the cash purse of Rs 630,000, the top three pros will receive Rs 115,000, Rs 74,000 and Rs 53,000 respectively.