Dharan – Local pro-Niraj Tamang took the lead after the first round of the Surya Nepal Eastern Open, the second event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 202-23, at the par-70 Dharan Golf Club in Sunsari on Tuesday.
Niraj scored five-under 65 for a one-stroke lead over Nepal number one Sukra Bahadur Rai. Sukra and Sanjay Lama jointly carded four under 66. Bhuvan Nagarkoti turned in a round of three-under 67. Jayaram Shrestha carded even-par 70. Amateur Raj Kumar Rai scored one over 71. Rabi Khadka, Ramesh Adhikari, Rame Magar, Surya Prasad Sharma, Tanka Bahadur Karki, Bal Bhadra Rai, and Dinesh Prajapati carded two over 72.
Niraj began the day with birdies on the second, third, fifth, sixth, and seventh holes and scored a bogey on the 8th before closing with an eagle on the par-4 ninth hole for six-under 30 on the front nine. On the back nine, he made three straight birdies on the 10th, 11th, and 12th holes. However, he dropped shots on the 13th, 14th, 17th, and 18th holes for one-over 35.
Sukra began with two straight bogeys and birdied the fifth, sixth, and ninth holes for one-under 35 on the front nine. On the back nine, he carded birdies on the 10th, 13th, 15th, and 18th holes with a drop shot on the 14th for three-under 31.
Sanjay played three-under 33 on the front nine with birdies on the second, fifth, and sixth holes. On the back nine, he made birdies on the 10th, 16th, and 18th holes. Moreover, he scored bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes for one-under 33.
Bhuvan hit his tee shot out of bounds on the first hole and shot a double bogey. Furthermore, he birdied the third and ninth holes and closed the front nine at even-par 36. On the back nine, he made birdies on the 10th, 12th, and 13th holes for three-under 31.
A total of 40 golfers, 29 pros, and 11 amateurs are taking part in the 54-hole competition. The competition is being organized by Nepal PGA under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. Cut will be applied after the second round. The top 21 pros and at least six amateurs will make it to the final round.
The event carries a cash purse of Rs 800,000 and the top three pros will receive Rs 140,000, Rs 90,000, and Rs 67,000 respectively. Others in the top 21 will also get their share of cash prizes.