Surya Nepal Western Open begins, Bhuvan takes three-stroke lead

POKHARA, February 22: Bhuvan Nagarkoti took three-stroke lead after the first round of the Surya Nepal Western Open, the fourth event under Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2022-23, at the par-69 Himalayan Golf Course on Wednesday.

Bhuvan carded two-under 67 on the first day to take lead over Sanjay Lama and amateur Prajwal Gurung. Sanjay and Prajwal played one-over 70.

Dal Bahadur Magar and Rame Magar shared the fourth position with amateur Sadbhav Acharya at two-over 71. Top amateur Subash Tamang and pro Dhana Bahadur Thapa are tied for seventh at three-over 72, whereas Dinesh Prajapati, Sukra Bahadur Rai and Kamal Tamang shared the ninth position with amateurs Mahendra Phagami and Suresh Tamang at four-over 73.

Leader Bhuvan played one-under 33 on the front nine and carded one-under 34 on the back nine. He started the day with a bogey before carding birdies on the fourth and sixth holes. He then dropped shots on the 12th and 16th holes against birdies on the 10th, 13th and 17th holes.

Sanjay played one-over 35 on the front nine after he faced a bogey on the second hole. He then carded even-par 35 on the back nine. He carded a birdie on the 15th and faced a bogey on the next hole. Amateur Prajwal Gurung carded two-under 32 on the front nine before playing three-over 38 on the back nine. He carded three birdies on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes before dropping a shot on the next hole. After taking the turn, Prajwal faced four bogeys on the 12th, 15th, 16th and 18th holes against a lone birdie on the 14th hole.

Dal, Rame and Sadbhav all carded even-par 34 on the front nine before playing two-over 37 on the latter half.

Prajwal is the leader among amateur golfers. He is one stroke ahead of Sadbhav, while the 13th South Asian Games double gold medallist Subash is further one shot behind at 72. Three amateur golfers who played 90 or more on the first day, Bidur Tamang, Prakash Gurung and Jitendra Rai have been eliminated.

A total of 45 golfers — 31 pros and 14 amateurs — are taking part in the tournament organised by PGA Nepal under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. After the completion of 36 holes on Thursday, top 21 plus ties among professional golfers and minimum of six amateurs will make the cut for the third and final round.

The 23rd edition of the Surya Nepal Western Open carries a cash purse of Rs 800,000. Top three pros will receive Rs 140,000, Rs 90,000 and Rs 67,000 respectively, while others in top 21 will earn their share of cash prizes.


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