Shrestha shares lead with Rai

Kathmandu, March 2

Former Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha and Sukra Bahadur Rai carded five-under 67 each to share the first round lead of the Pilot Golfers NPGA Classic here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.

On a day when eight golfers broke the par, Rame Magar was third at three-under 69, while Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti was tied on fourth with Dinesh Prajapati and former top pro Rabi Khadka along with amateur golfer Subash Tamang in the fourth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2019- 20. Sanjay Lama was eighth at one-under 71.

Shrestha carded four-under 32 with the help of birdies on the first, third, sixth and seventh holes before taking the turn. He was seven-under after he carded birdies on the 12th, 14th and 15th but Shrestha was undone by bogeys on the next two holes as he closed the back nine at one-under 35.

Rai carded six birdies and dropped a shot in his round.

He took the turn at three-under 33 that included a lone bogey on the sixth against birdies on the second, third, seventh and eighth. Rai finished the back nine at two-under 34 after he carded birdies on the 15th and 18th holes.

Third-placed Magar carded a birdie on the second and sank an eagle on the next to finish the front nine at three-under 33. Magar played even-par 36 on the back nine after he dropped shots on the 13th and 14th against birdies on the 10th and 15th holes.

Tanka Bahadur Karki and Bal Bhadra Rai were tied for ninth at even-par 72, while Deepak Acharya, Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan and Ram Krishna Shrestha shared the 11th position at one-over 71.

Amateur section leader, Tamang played even-par 36 before taking the turn and carded two-under 34 on the back nine. The double gold medallist of the 13th South Asian Games carded a birdie on the second and dropped a shot on the eighth hole on the front nine. He then carded birdies on the 12th and 15th holes in the bogey-free back nine.

Jitendra Rai was second at eight-over 80, while three amateurs — Yubraj Bhujel, Suresh Tamang and Bidur Tamang — were further one shot behind.

In all, 45 golfers, including 37 pros and eight amateurs, are taking part in the 54-hole event which carries a cash purse of Rs 500,000. The second and final rounds will be played at the Royal Nepal Golf Club. Cut will be applied after second day with top 24 pros and six amateurs making it to the final round.