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Muniyappa grabs the lead
December 15, 2005 18:41 IST
A consistent C Muniyappa shot his second successive round of three-under 69 to leap into the lead at six-under 138, even as overnight leader Vinod Kumar shot a 77 to slip to tied fourth position after the mid-way stage of the Surya Nepal Masters 2005, in association with Nepal Tourism Board, being played at the par-72, Le Meridien Kathmandu Gokarna Forest Golf Resort.
Tied for second position a stroke behind the leader, was the duo of Kolkata's Nabin Mondal and Delhi's Shamim Khan, who fired rounds of 69 apiece to tally 139.
Among the Nepalese contingent, amateur golfer Shivram Shrestha returned his second successive round of even-par 72 to tie at 18th position along with Amby Valley PGAI Tour regular Toran Shahi and a host of other golfers.
At tied-fourth position and a score of 140, was the duo of Chanidgarh's Gurbaaz Mann and Amritinder Singh accompanied by Vinod Kumar (Delhi) and Amardip Sinh Malik (Meerut).
Mann and Amritinder, it might be recalled, were involved in a three way playoff with Shiv Kapur prior to the latter grabbing top honours at the Surya Nepal Masters 2004.
The cut was applied at 14-over 158 with exactly 60 professionals and five amateurs making it to the deciding rounds.
One of the chief flaws in Vinod Kumar's temperament over the past five years he has been part of the Amby Valley PGAI Tour bandwagon has been his inability to convert excellent starts into bigger things. Thursday's was just another such instance.
Muniyappa is another kettle of fish altogether. This Karnataka Golf Association pro needs only to sniff out the semblance of a chance before capitalizing on it.
Muniyappa, a first tee starter, who began the day six strokes behind the leader was set back by a double bogey on the 2nd, where his three-putted from 15 feet after finding the rough early on. He made up with birdies on the ninth, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th.
"I have always dreamed of winning the Surya Nepal Masters. This is a God-sent opportunity and I plan to attack the pin and go for a win on the last two days," said the 24-year old Muniyappa.
Nabin Mondal began on the tenth tee and went to birdie the 12th, 13th, 15th and 18th with a lone bogey on the 14th. On his back-nine, Mondal dropped shots on the fifth and eighth but made up with birdies on the sixth and ninth got a card of 69.
Shamim, a first tee starter, played his first nine to par but went on to birdie the tenth 11th, 13th and 16th with a bogey on the 12th to end the day at 69.
Shivram Shrestha, who started the day on the tenth, tasted success early with an eagle on the 12th. This as negated by bogeys on the 13th and 15th.
On his back nine, Shrestha bogeyed the fourth and birdied the seventh for a card of even-par 72.
Toran Shahi, who lives for most part in India birdied the second and seventh but dropped shots on the third and eighth. A double bogey on the 14th followed by a bogey on the 18th, saw him return a card of 75.
SCORES (after 36 holes): 138 C Muniyappa(69,69); 139 Nabin Monday(70,69), Shamim Khan(70,69); 140 Amardip Sinh Malik(72,68), Gurbaaz Mann(69,71), Amritinder Singh(69,71), Vinod Kumar(63,77); 141 Sanjay Kumar(72,69), AS Lehal(71,70), Ajai Gupta(69,72), S Madhaiah(68,73).
Nepal pros: 144 Toran Bikram Shahi(69,75); 145 Deepak Thapa Magar(73,72); 147 Deepak Acharya(75,72), Ramesh Nagarkoti(67,80) Amateurs: 144 Shivram Shrestha(72,72); 148 Raj Pradhan(72,76).