Shrestha takes two-stroke lead in Pilot Golfers NPGA Classic

- Sports Bureau, Kathmandu

Mar 21, 2019-

Jayaram Shrestha opened up a two-stroke lead in the first round of the Pilot Golfers NPGA Classic at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club on Wednesday.

Shrestha shot four-under 68, two strokes ahead of Dhana Bahadur Thapa and Bhuwan Kumar Rokka both of whom carded a two-under 70. Ramesh Adhikari and amateur golfer Tanka Bahadur Karki shot one-under 71 to shared the fourth place. Sanjay Lama and another amateur Binod Tamang were tied for sixth at even-par 72. Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan is at one-over 73. Rame Magar and Sachin Prasad Bhattarai shot two-over 74 in the seventh event of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2018-19.

Leader Shrestha, brother of Nepal No 1 Shivaram who is currently in the United States for training, shot a flawless three under 33 on the front nine with birdies on third, seventh and ninth holes. But its was a rollercoaster ride for him in the back nine. He started his backward journey with back-to-back bogeys on the par-3 10th and par-5 11th. But the pro made amends immediately sinking back-to-back birdies on the par-5 12th and par-3 13th. He dropped yet another shot in the next hole, the par-4 14th. After making pars on the 15th and 16th, Shrestha sank yet another back-to-back birdies on the closing two holes for a one-under 35 card.

Rokka shot two-under 34 on the front nine with birdies on fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth holes against a double-bogey on the first hole. On the back nine, Rokka sank birdies on 11th and 17th holes against bogeys on 10th and 14th for an even-par 36. Thapa carded one-under 35 on either halves. On the front nine, Thapa sank his birdies on the second, third and fourth but dropped shots on the first and eighth holes. On the back nine, Thapa sank birdies on 11th and 17th holes against a bogey on 14th. Ramesh Adhikari shot one-under 35 on the front nine with birdies on first and second holes against a bogey on the fourth. On the back nine, Adhikari sank birdies on 10th and 15th but dropped shots on the 11th and 14th holes.

Amateur Karki shot three-under 33 on the front nine with an eagle on the third, birdies on second and sixth holes against a bogey on the first. On the back nine, Karki sank a birdie on the 12th but had a bogey on 11th and a double-bogey on 16th for two-over 38. Lama carded even-par 36 on both halves. On the front nine, Lama sank birdies on the first and third holes against bogeys on the second and fourth. On his way back, Lama sank birdies on 12th and 18th against bogeys on 14th and 15th holes. Amateur Tamang shot one-over 37 on the front nine with birdies on fifth and seventh holes against bogeys on first and third. On the back nine, Tamang parred all the holes except for a birdie on the 11th for one-under 35 card.

In all, 31 professional and seven amateur golfers are taking part in the tournament. The tournament is a tribute to Capt Badri Kumar Shrestha, the first Nepali pilot who lost his life while serving the nation. The first two round of the 54-hole event will be played at the Gokarna with the final set for Royal Nepal Golf Club on Friday. The tournament offers Rs 450,000 in total prize money with the champions assured of Rs 85,000. The runner-up will get Rs 56,000 and the third-placed pro will receive Rs 37,000. Other 21 pros to make the cut for the final round are also assured of cash rewards. Top six amateurs will also join the pros in the final round.

Published: 21-03-2019 08:28

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