Top amateur Rupak outshines pros, maintains five-shot lead

KATHMANDU: Amateur golfer Rupak Acharya maintained a five-stroke lead after the third round of the Surya Nepal Central Open here at the Gokarna Golf Course today.

Nepal’s top amateur golfer Rupak carded three-under 69 on the third round for a total

of five-under 211, while Pokhara pro Deepak Neupane — who also shot three-under 69 — held the second position with a total of even-par 216. Two strokes adrift was RNGC pro Rabi Khadka at 218 after the third round score of one-under 71. Both Deepak and Rabi were joint second after the second round.

Sumandra Giri continued his dream run as the Gokarna amateur carded two-over 74 to hold the fourth position at six-over 222. Sanjay Lama, who carded two-over 74 in the third round — was fifth with the total of 225. Mani Rai and Deepak Thapa Magar were joint sixth with the scores of 226, while Rajan Thapa and amateur Ramesh Adhikari shared the eighth position at 228.

CB Bhandari was 10th

with the scores of 230, whereas amateur-turned-pro Yelamber Adhikari and Dhana Thapa were joint 12th at 231. The Gokarna teaching pros Deepak Acharya and Pashupati Sharma fell further behind with the total scores of 233.

The event — sixth under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2009-10 - has been organised by Nepal Professional Golfers Association under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. Out of the total cash prize of Rs 350,000, the winner of the main tournament will become richer by Rs 72,000, while the runners up will receive Rs 46,000 and Rs 36,000 respectively. Other pros in the top 20 will also get their share of cash prizes. The amateurs will receive trophies.

Rupak, who shot two-under 70 in the first round and even-par 72 in the second, played a flawless round of three-under 69 today to maintain the five-stroke lead going into the final round. Rupak carded three birdies in the third, fifth and eighth holes in the bogey-free front nine to take a turn at three-under 33. On the back nine, he sank two birdies against as many bogeys for an even-par 36. He carded birdies on the 12th and 17th holes before dropping one shot each on the 15th and 18th holes.

Deepak Neupane had a lone birdie on the front nine score of one-under 35, while he sank two birdies on the back nine in the bogey-free round.

Rabi, on the other hand, squandered a chance to narrow the gap with the leader despite carding two birdies each on the either half. He took a turn at two-under 34 and ended the back nine at one-over 37. Meanwhile, pro Sachin Bhattarai pulled out of the tournament after he was bereaved of his mother.