KATHMANDU, Feb 20: Amateur golfer Tenzing Tsering took the lead after first round of play in the Surya Nepal Central Open, the fourth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17, at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club in Kathmandu on Monday.
Tenzing, a member of the national golf team, carded six-under 66 to stand on top of the leaderboard. He is four strokes ahead of professional golfers Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Sanjay Lama. The duo carded two-under 70. Rabi Khadka is third among pro at one-under 71.
Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha and Bal Bhadra Rai of Dharan are joint fourth at one-over 73 while Deepak Acharya is one stroke behind Shivaram.
Likewise, amateur Tanka Bahadur Karki is in overall eighth position and second among amateurs. Tanka carded equal three-over 75 as of pro golfers Rajendra Shrestha Pradhan, Jayaram Shrestha and Dhana Bahadur Thapa. Chuda Bahadur Bhandari and Surya Prasad Sharma are joint 10th at four-over 76 along with amateur Mithun Rai.
Leader Tenzing played three-under 33 on either halves. He sank eagles on the third and seventh holes while he bogeyed on the fourth hole in the front nine. In the back nine, he carded birdies on the 11th, 12th and 15th holes and played par on other holes.
Pros Bhuwan and Sanjay carded two-under 34 on the front nine and even-par 36 on the back nine. Bhuwan carded birdies on the second, third and seventh holes against a bogey on the sixth hole. At the back half, he saved shots on the 10th and 12th holes before suffering a double bogey on the 14th hole. Likewise, Sanjay carded birdies on the first, third and fifth holes against a bogey on fourth. After taking the turn, he carded birdies on the 11th and 13th holes while dropped shots on the 14th and 16th holes.
Rabi played even-par 36 on front nine and one-under 35 on the back nine. He played bogey on the second hole and amended it with birdie on the seventh hole before taking the turn. In the later half, he saved a shot on the 17th hole.
Nepal number one pro Shivaram played two-over 38 on the front nine and one-under 35 on the back nine. He saved a shot on the third hole but squandered two shots on the par-five seventh hole and one on par-four ninth hole. On the back nine, he made a bogey on the 10th hole and earned birdies on the 11th and 16th holes.
Altogether, 33 professional golfers and 15 amateurs are taking part in the tournament. Cut will be applied after the second round of play. Only top 21 pros and ties will secure place for the final 36 holes along with top six amateurs.