By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – Nepal No. 1 pro-Sukra Bahadur Rai displayed a heroic performance setting the new course record of 11-under 61 in the second round of the Surya Nepal Central Open, the fifth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2022-23, at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club on Wednesday.
Sukra broke the previous record of 10-under 62 scored by three Indian pros Shamim Khan (2008), S Chikkarangappa (2013), and Abhijit Singh Chadha (2013) in the Surya Nepal Masters. After the career-best round of bogey-free 61, Sukra posted a 36-hole total of 18-under 126 and opened up a three-stroke lead over Bhuvan Nagarkoti, who carded nine-under 63 for 15-under 129.
Amateur Sadbhav Acharya is third at three-under 141 after the carded three-under 69 in the second round, while fellow national team member Subash Tamang (71) and pro-Jayram Shrestha (75) share the fourth place at one-under 143.
Niraj Tamang is sixth at even-par 144 after he played one-over 73, while Bhuwan Kumar Rokka carded two-under 70 to move up to seventh at one-over 145. Tanka Bahadur Karki (71) and Shivaram Poudel (73) share the eighth spot at 146, while Sanjay Lama (75) and amateur Bhujel (73) are tied for 10th three-over 147. Another amateur golfer Tashi Tsering (71) and pro-Dinesh Prajapati (74) are tied for 12th place at four-over 148.
Sukra carded five-under 31 on the front nine and played six-under 30 on the back nine. Sukra started the day with birdies on the first two holes and sank an eagle on the seventh. He finished the front nine with his third birdie on the ninth hole. After taking the turn, Sukra carded a birdie on the 11th and sank an eagle on the 12th hole to go eight under for the day. He then carded three straight birdies on the 13th, 14th, and 15th holes.
Bhuvan, who equaled the record of Shivaram Shrestha’s nine-under 63, carded a scintillating eight-under 28 on the front nine before playing one under 35 on the back nine. He carded a birdie on the first hole and sank an eagle on the third. Bhuvan then carded four consecutive birdies on the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh holes before adding another on the ninth hole. After taking the turn, he carded birdies on the 11th and 12th holes for a 10-under score but he dropped a shot on the 13th hole. He then saved pars on the last six holes.
Amateur Sadbhav carded two-under 34 on the front nine and played one under 35 on the back nine. He started the day with a bogey before bouncing back strongly with birdies on the fourth, sixth, and seventh holes. After taking the turn, Sadbhav dropped a shot on the 11th hole before carding birdies on the 12th and 18th holes.
Nepal No 1 amateur Subash carded two-under 34 on the front nine and played one-over 37 on the back nine. He carded three birdies on the third, fifth, and seventh holes before facing a bogey on the eighth hole. On the back nine, he dropped shots on the 11th and 15th holes against a birdie on the 12th hole.
Cut was applied at 13-over 157 with 21 pros and seven amateurs making it to the final two rounds. Pros Rame Magar, Pradeep Kumar Lama, Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan, Ramesh Adhikari, Bal Bhadra Rai, Sanjok Moktan, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Rabi Khadka, Deepak Magar, Kamal Tamang, Surya Prasad Sharma, and Kishan Kaliraj Sunar survived the cut. In the amateur section, Suresh Tamang, Nischaya Jung Rayamajhi, and Capt Norbu Sherpa earned berths in the final rounds.
The tournament, organized by the Professional Golfers Association Nepal under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd, carries a total cash purse of Rs 800,000. The winner of the event will bag Rs 140000, the runner-up will earn Rs 90,000, the third-placed pro will get Rs 67000, the fourth-place will receive Rs 55,000 and the fifth place will take home Rs 47,000. Other pros in the top 21 will earn their share of cash prizes.