Rai breaks course record, maintains leadThe Nepal number one pro’s 11-under 61 eclipsed the previous record of 10-under 62.
Nepal number one pro Sukra Bahadur Rai set 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.
Rai 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, Rai posted 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 in the third position at three-under 141 after he carded three-under 69 in the second round. 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.
Rai carded five-under 31 on the front nine and played six-under 30 on the back nine. He started the day with birdies on the first two holes and sank an eagle on the seventh.
Rai finished the front nine with his third birdie on the ninth hole. After taking the turn, he 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.
Nagarkoti, who equaled the record of Shivaram Shrestha’s nine-under 63, carded 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. Nagarkoti 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 10-under score but he dropped a shot on the 13th hole. He then saved pars on the last six holes.
Amateur Acharya 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, Acharya dropped a shot on the 11th hole before carding birdies on the 12th and 18th holes.
Nepal number one amateur Tamang 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.