Surya Nepal Premier Golf Championship: Niraj surges to the top after second round

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Niraj Tamang moved to the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Surya Nepal Premier Golf Championship, the eighth and final event of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2021-22, at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club on Tuesday.

Niraj carded a personal best score of eight-under 64 for the 36-hole total score of 12-under 132. He is two strokes ahead of amateur golfer Wangchen Dhondup and Sukra Bahadur Rai. Overnight leader Wangchen carded three-under 69 and Sukra shot a seven-under 65 in the second round.

Young amateur Sadbhav Acharya carded a career-best six-under 66 to move up to a fourth place with a total score of nine-under 135. He is one stroke ahead of Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti, who carded a second straight four-under 68. Purna Sharma carded five-under 67 to remain at sixth position with the score of six-under 138, while Bhuwan Kumar Rokka is further one stroke behind after he shot four-under 68.

Dhana Bahadur Thapa and amateur Aarav D Shah shared the eighth place at four-under 140. Dhana carded six-under 66, while Aarav shot three-under 69. Rame Magar (71) and amateur Mahendra Phagami (72) shared the 10th place at three-under 141. Bishnu Sharma (70) and Rabi Kahdka (74) shared the 12th position at two-under 142, while top amateur golfer Subash Tamang faltered to one-over 73 to drop down to 14th place at one-under 143.

Jayaram Shrestha (70) and Ram Krishna Shrestha (73) shared the 15th place at even-par 144. The cut was applied at six-over 150 with 22 pros (top 21 and tie) and eight amateurs making it to the final two rounds. Surya Prasad Sharma, Rajendra Thapa Magar, Deepak Neupane, Tirtha Poudel, Sanjok Moktan, Sanjay Lama, Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan, Dinesh Prajapati, Ramesh Adhikari and Pradeep Kumar Lama survived the cut. In the amateur section, Tashi Tshiring, Sam Doublard and Vijay Shrestha Einhaus joined the top five golfers for the last two rounds.

Leader Niraj Tamang carded four-under 32 on both halves on his way to playing a bogey-free round. He carded birdies on the second, third, fifth and sixth holes before taking the turn. Niraj then sank an eagle on the par-4 14th hole and carded birdies on the 12th and 15th holes.

Sukra carded six-under 30 on the front nine before playing one-under 35 on the back nine. He began the day with a birdie and added five more on the third, fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth holes. After taking the turn, Sukra dropped a shot on the 11th hole before carding birdies on the 13th and 14th holes.

Amateur Wangchen took the turn at two-under 34 and played one-under 35 on the back nine. He carded birdies on the first, third and fifth holes and faced a bogey on the fourth. On the back nine, he carded birdies on the 11th and 12th holes before dropping a shot on the 13th hole.

Another amateur, Sadbhav carded three-under 33 on both halves. He began the round with a birdie and added five more on the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth holes. He was undone by a double bogey on the eighth and a bogey on the second hole. On the back nine, he carded birdies on the 11th, 12th and 16th holes. 

Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti carded two-under 34 on both halves. He carded birdies on the third and fourth holes before taking the turn. He then carded birdies on the 10th, 13th and 16th holes and he dropped a shot on the 14th hole.

A total of 54 players, 43 pros and 11 amateurs, are taking part in the tournament organized by Nepal PGA under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. The flagship event of the Tour carries a cash purse of Rs 1.461 million. The winner will be richer by Rs 250,000, while the runner-up will bag Rs 155,000 and the third-placed golfer will take home Rs 110,000.