Nagarkoti makes solid start

KATHMANDU, APR 21: Bhuwan Nagarkoti opened the Surya Nepal NPGA Tour Championship with a solid six-under 66 here at the Gokarna Golf Club today. Nagarkoti carded three-under 33 on either half in his bogey-free round at the home course to take five-stroke lead over Nepal No 1 Shivaram Shrestha of RNGC and Sanjay Lama of Tribhuvan Army Officers Golf Club after they returned with the matching scores of one-under 71 in the eighth and final event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2014-15.
After saving pars on the first five holes, Nagarkoti carded birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth holes to take the turn at three-under 33. On the latter half, Nagarkoti shot birdies on the 12th, 15th and 17th holes. Top pro Shrestha began the day with a birdie and added three more on the fourth, fifth and ninth holes. Shrestha faced a bogey on the eighth as he took the turn at three-under 33.
Shrestha carded birdies on the 11th and 12th holes but he was undone by double bogeys on the 14th and 16th holes as he finished the back nine at two-over 38. Army Club pro Lama shot one-under 35 on the front nine and played even-par 36 on the latter half.
Lama carded birdies on the third, sixth and 13th holes and sank an eagle on the par-5 11th against bogeys on the fourth, 13th, 14th and 17th holes. Dharan pros Bal Bhadra (Mani) Rai and Suman Rai were tied on fourth position at even-par 72, while six players — Purna Sharma, Rabi Khadka, Ramesh Adhikari, Surya Prasad Sharma, Deepak Neupane, and Rame Magar — shared the sixth position at one-over 73.
Jayaram Shrestha and Sunil Mizar are at the 12th position at two-over 74. In amateur section, Bikash Bogati was one-shot ahead after he shot three-over 75. Mithun Rai was second at 76, while Tanka Bahadur Karki was third at seven-over 79.
A total of 40 players, 34 pros and seven amateurs, are taking part in the 72-hole tournament that carries a total cash purse of Rs 515,000.
Cut will be applied after 36 holes and top 21 players will make it to the money-making final two rounds. The same cut will be applied for amateurs as well. The winner will be richer by Rs 95,000, while the runner-up will get Rs 60,000. The third-place pro will earn Rs 44,000.
Others in top 21 will also get their share of cash prizes.