Shrestha, Rai share lead in opening roundA total of 45 golfers, including eight amateurs, are competing for the top honours in the 54-hole tournament.
Shivaram Shrestha and Sukra Bahadur Rai shared the opening round lead in the Pilot Golfers NPGA Classic at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club on Monday.
The duo played a card of five-under 67 each to share the lead in the fourth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2019-20. Rame Magar was two strokes behind the leaders in the third position. Nepal's No. 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti, Dinesh Prajapati and Rabi Khadka held the joint fourth place along with amateur Subash Tamang at two-under 70.
Sanjay Lama was eighth at one-under 71, while Tanka Bahadur Karki and Bal Bhadra Rai shared the ninth position with an even-par score. Deepak Acharya, Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan and Ram Krishna Shrestha shared the 11th position at one-over 73.
Shrestha carded four-under 32 on the front nine and one-under 35 on return. He carded birdies on the first, third, sixth and seventh holes, while completing the other holes at even-par. On the back nine, he birdied on the 12th, 14th and 15th holes before dropping shots on the 16th and 17th holes.
Rai played three-under 33 on the front and two-under 34 after taking the turn. He carded birdies on the second, third, seventh and eighth holes against a bogey on the sixth. On the back nine, he carded birdies on the 15th and 18th holes.
Third-placed Magar carded three-under 33 on the front nine and shot even-par 36 on the back nine.
South Asian Games gold medalist Subash Tamang took the top podium in the amateur section at two-under 70 at the end of round one. Jitendra Rai finished the day in a distant second at eight-over 80.
A total of 45 golfers, including eight amateurs, are competing for the top honours in the 54-hole tournament being organised in memory of first Nepali commercial pilot late Badri Kumar Shrestha.
The tournament carries a purse of Rs500,000. Only the top 24 pros will make the cut for the final two rounds to be played at the par-68 Royal Nepal Golf Club. They will be joined by six amateurs.