Shrestha opens up five-shot lead over Nagarkoti

Kathmandu, February 8

Nepal No 1 pro Shiva Ram Shrestha opened up five-stroke lead going into the final round of the Golfer Pilots NPGA Classic here at the par-68 Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

Shrestha, who shared the lead with Bhuwan Nagarkoti on day one, fired four-under 64 in the second round to post the total score of seven-under 129 and put him in the driving seat of the sixth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2018-19. Nagarkoti slipped to second at two-under 134 after he played one-over 69. Shrestha began the day on a bright note carding two straight birdies and added three more on the fourth, seventh and ninth to fire a bogey-free five-under 29 on the front nine. After taking the turn, Shrestha — who has already won four events in the current season — saved pars on all holes except for 13th where he dropped a shot.

Nagarkoti carded two straight birdies on the third and fourth holes in the bogey-free two-under 32 on the front nine. But the Gokarna Golf Club pro faltered to three-over 37 on the latter half. He began the back nine with a double bogey and dropped shots on the 12th and 13th against a lone birdie on the 16th hole.

Rame Magar maintained the third position after a round of one-over 69. Magar took the turn at one-over 35 that included two bogeys on the second and ninth against a birdie on the seventh hole. Magar went three-under on the back nine with birdies on the 10th, 11th and 13th holes but he faced a triple bogey seven on the 16th for even-par 34.

Army Club pro Dhana Bahadur Thapa was fourth at one-over 137 after he played two-over 70, while his club mate Sanjay Lama carded an even-par 68 and was fifth at 138. Bhuwan Kumar Rokka (69), Rabi Khadka (71) and Surya Prasad Sharma shared sixth at three-over 139, while Jayaram Shrestha (72) was ninth at 141, followed by Pradeep Kumar Lama (71) at 144.

In amateur section, Binod Tamang and Subash Ghising shared the lead at five-over 141. Tamang played even-par 68, while overnight leader Ghising shot two-over 70. Navaraj Chaulagain (73) was third at 12-over 148. Pratima Sherpa ended the day at disappointing 14-over 82 despite having a Hole-in-One on the 12th hole.

The golfers will now move to Gokarna Golf Club for the third and final round of the tournament, sponsored by pilot-cum-golfers Capt Rabindra Purush Dhakal, Capt Deepak Thapaliya and Capt Vijay Pratap Singh.