KATHMANDU, June 19: Defending champion and Nepal No 1 pro Shiva Ram Shrestha carded seven-under 65 to take lead after the second round of the Surya Nepal Central Open at the Gokarna Golf Club on Tuesday.
Shrestha shot career-best 65 for a total of 10-under 134 in the fourth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2012-13. He is three shots ahead of Ram Thapa, who carded three-under 69 on Tuesday for a total of seven-under 137.
Defending champion Shrestha played two-under 34 on the front nine and added five-under 31 on the back nine. He carded birdies on the first, third and fourth hole before dropping a shot on the par-3 eighth hole. On the back nine, he had five birdies on the 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th holes.
Thapa, who was joint second with Deepak Neupane after the first round, played one-under 35 that included birdies on the third and fourth holes against a bogey on the ninth hole. After taking the turn, he carded birdies on the 10th and 18th holes to finish the back nine at two-under 34.
Ramesh Adhikari shared the third position with amateur Tashi Tsering at 138. Adhikari played second straight three-under 69, while overnight leader Tsering shot one-under 71. Three players Sanjay Lama (69), Deepak Neupane (72) and Rabi Khadka (70) are tied for fourth at four-under 140, while Ramesh Nagarkoti (71) is seventh at 142. Umesh Nagarkoti (70) is eighth at 143, while Deepak Thapa Magar (72) and Toran Bikram Shahi (68) shared the ninth position at even-par 144.
Others who survived the cut applied at seven-over 151 were Surya Prasad Sharma, Rajan Thapa, Pashupati Sharma, Jaya Ram Shrestha, Mani Rai, Dhana Thapa, CB Bhandari, Bishnu Neupane, Ram Krishna Shrestha and Yelamber Singh Adhikari.
In Amateur section, Bhuwan Gurung of Pokhara played even-par 72 and is six strokes behind Tashi at 146. Dinesh Prajapati, who played 74 on Tuesday, is third at 147. Others who made the cut are Ashish Pariyar, Sunil KC, Dipendra Rayamajhi, Bikash Bogati and Tashi Ghale.
The top three pros of the tournament will receive Rs 88,000, Rs 55,000 and Rs 40,700 respectively.