Tsering opens up six-shot lead

Kathmandu, February 21

Tenzing Tsering extended the lead to six strokes after the second round of the Surya Nepal Central Open here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.

The national team member, Tsering carded two-under 70 to post the 36-hole score of eight-under 144 in the fourth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17. Army Club pro Sanjay Lama was second at two-under 142 after he carded even-par 72, while RNGC golfer Rabi Khadka (73) was further two strokes behind at third place.

Tsering, who carded six-under 66 for a four-stroke lead on the first day, produced the best card for the second straight round. He carded two-under 34 on the front nine and played even-par 36 on the latter half. He made a bright start carding a birdie on the par-5 first hole and went on to hit two more on the fifth and seventh before dropping a shot on the eighth. After taking the turn, Tsering carded birdies on the 11th and 17th and faced bogeys on the 14th and 17th holes.

Pro Lama carded three birdies and as many bogeys in his round. After dropping a shot on the sixth, Lama carded a birdie on the next to take the turn at even-par 36. He then carded two straight birdies on the 11th and 12th holes but faced bogeys on the 14th and 17th to finish the back nine at even-par 36.

Khadka had a birdie on the first hole but faced four bogeys — on the second and three straight from the fifth hole — to take the turn at three-over 39. He recovered well in the back nine with a bogey-free two-under 34 with the help of birdies on the 11th and 14th holes.

Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha, the winner of the first three events of the season, carded a 72 to add to his overnight score of one-over 73 and was at the fourth place at 145, while home club pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti (76) slipped to fifth at 146. Shrestha carded four birdies in his round but he was undone by as many bogeys, while Nagarkoti faltered to three-over 39 on the back nine after taking the turn at one-over 36.

Army Club pro Dhana Bahadur Thapa (73) moved up to sixth at 148, while another home club pro Deepak Acharya remained at the seventh position after he shot three-over 75 for the total score of five-over 149. Dharan pro Bal Bhadra Rai was eighth at 150 after he shot a 77, while amateur Tanka Bahadur Karki and Jayaram Shrestha shared the ninth place at 151 after they played four-over 76.

Cut was applied at 14-over 158 with 21 pros and six amateurs making it to the final two rounds. Rame Thapa, Pashupati Sharma, Yelamber Singh Adhikari, Surya Prasad Sharma, Purna Prasad Sharma, Deepak Magar, Dhruba KC, CB Bhandari, Krishna Man Rajbahak, Pradeep Kumar Lama, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Kumar Kami and Shiva Ram Poudel survived the cut among pros. Apart from Tsering and Karki, other amateurs who made the cut were Tashi Ghale, Prithivi Malla, Mithun Rai and Sukra Bahadur Rai.

A total of 48 players — 33 pros and 15 amateurs — took part in the event that carries a cash purse of Rs 600,000. Top three players will receive Rs 110,000, Rs 70,000 and Rs 45,000 respectively. Others in the top 21 will also earn prize money.