Surya Nepal Western Open
POKHARA-Shiva Ram Shrestha carded one-under 69 to take one-stroke lead over Dhana Bahadur Thapa after first round of the Surya Nepal Western Open, third event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2019-20, at the par-69 Himalayan Golf Course in Pokhara on Wednesday.
Dhana carded even-par 69 on the first day. Three pros, Sukra Bahadur Rai, Bal Bhadra Rai and Niraj Tamang shared third position at one-over 70, whereas Bhuwan Kumar Rokka and Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti shared the sixth position at two-over 71. Rabi Khadka and Jayaram Shrestha shared the eighth place at three-over 72, while defending champion Sanjay Lama is 10th at four-over 73.
Jitendra Rai is at the top among amateurs with the score of five-over 74 and he is tied for 11th position with five pros, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Surya Prasad Sharma, Sanjeev Bahadur Nepali, Sunil KC and Rame Magar. Suresh Lama is second in amateur section with the score of 75, while Jiwan Rai is third at 77.
Leader Shiva Ram carded one-under 33 on the front nine and played even-par 35 on the back nine. He carded birdies on the third, fifth and sixth holes against bogeys on the fourth and ninth holes. After taking the turn, Shiva Ram sank an eagle on the par-5 10th hole and carded birdies on the 13th, 14th and 17th holes. He faced a triple bogey on the 15th hole and dropped shots on the 11th and 18th holes.
Dhana played even-par 34 on the front nine and carded even-par 35 on the back nine. He faced a double bogey on the first hole and dropped shots on the fourth and eighth holes against birdies on the third, fifth, sixth and seventh holes. After taking the turn, Dhana carded birdies on the 10th and 17th holes before facing a double bogey on the 18th hole.
Sukra and Niraj played one-over 35 on the front nine and they carded even-par 35 on the back nine, while the winner of the Surya Nepal Eastern Open Bal Bhadra played even-par 34 on the front nine and shot one-over 36 on the back nine. Top pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti took the turn at two-over 36 before playing even-par 35 on the back nine, while defending champion Sanjay faltered to five-over 39 on the front nine and carded one-under 34 on the back nine.
A total of 32 professionals and 16 amateurs are taking part in the 54 holes event organised by Nepal PGA and sponsored by Surya Nepal Pvt. Ltd. Cut will be applied after second round and top 24 pros plus ties and six amateurs will play the final round. The prize purse for the event has been raised this year to Rs.700,000 and winner will receive a cheque of Rs.125,000, Runner up Rs.75,000, second runner up Rs.55000. Others in the top 24 will also receive their share of cash prizes.
The event will conclude with a pro-am on Saturday, 15th February in which most Pokhreli amateurs await to team up with country’s professional golfers for much needed exposure.