Thapa surges atop as Shrestha falters

Pokhara, February 13

Dhana Bahadur Thapa opened up three-stroke lead over Shivaram Shrestha after the second round of the Surya Nepal Western Open here at the Himalayan Golf Course today.

The Tribhuvan Army Officers Golf Club pro Thapa carded two-under 67 to add to his overnight score of even-par 69 for the 36-hole total of two-under 136. Overnight leader Shrestha played two-over 71 to slip down to second at one-over 139 in the third event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour.

Leader Thapa faced a bogey on the ninth after carding birdies on the third and seventh holes before taking the turn at one-under 33. He then carded three more birdies on the 10th, 15th and 17th holes but he dropped shots on the 12th and final holes to end the back nine at one-under 34. Likewise, former top pro Shrestha suffered three consecutive bogeys from the seventh after saving pars in the first six holes as he took the turn at three-over 37. He carded one-under 34 on the back nine with the help of birdies on the 10th and 15th against a lone bogey on the 14th hole.

Jayaram Shrestha, Bhuwan Kumar Rokka and Sukra Bahadur Rai shared third position at two-over 140. Shrestha carded one-under 68, while Rokka played even-par 69 and Rai shot one-over 70.

Rai, who took the turn at two-under 32, suffered a quadruple bogey nine on the 10th hole which changed the complexion of his game.

Niraj Tamang (71) was sixth at 141, while defending champion Sanjay Lama and Nepal No 1 Bhuwan Nagarkoti shared the seventh position at four-over 142.

Lama moved three places up after carding even-par 69, while Nagarkoti shot second straight 71. Rabi Khadka was ninth at 144 after he played second consecutive 72, while Ram Krishna Shrestha (71) was next at 145.

The cut for top 24 pros fell at 16-over 154, while top six amateurs made it to the final round. Jitendra Rai maintained his lead in amateur section with the total score of 13-over 151 after he shot a 77, while Prajwal Gurung (76) was second at 153. Ajit BK and Suresh Lama shared the third place at 154, while Ramesh Gurung and Suresh Tamang were tied for fifth at 155. Amateur Man Bahadur Ale crossed the three-figure mark finishing the round with the score of 111, while Santosh Karki missed the century by three shots.

In all, 47 golfers — 31 pros and 16 amateurs — are participating in the 54-hole event that carries a cash purse of Rs 700,000. Top three pros will receive Rs 125,000, Rs 75,000, and Rs 55000 respectively. The tournament will conclude with a Pro-Am event on Saturday.