Rokka clinches NPGA Qualifying School title

Kathmandu, January 26

Bhuwan Kumar Rokka won the title of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour NPGA Qualifying School here at the par-68 Royal Nepal Golf Club today as four players earned the pro cards.

Rokka shot five-over 73 in the final round for a total score of 12-over 216 but still registered a two-stroke victory over overnight joint leader Basanta Raj Gurung, who faltered to eight-over 76. Another second-round leader Dal Lama played a forgettable round of 12-over 80 and slipped to fifth just making the cut line which was set at 18-over 222. Kishan Kaliraj shot four-over 72 to finish third at 219, while Dinesh Nagarkoti (75) was fourth at 221.

As Gurung had decided to put his pro card on hold before the tournament, four others earned the pro cards and are now eligible to participate in the remaining events of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17. The Tour continues with the third event, Surya Nepal Western Open, from February 8-11 at the Himalaya Golf Course in Pokhara. Gurung became the second golfer to put his pro card on hold after Maj Nischaya Jung Rayamajhi. According to Nepal PGA General Secretary, they can turn pro at their will and participate in the Surya Nepal Golf Tour events.

On Thursday, Rokka took the turn at two-over 36 and shot three-over 37 at the par-68 RNGC course. He began with a bogey and dropped shots on the sixth and eighth holes against a long birdie on the fourth. On the back nine, he faced bogeys on the 11th, 15th and 17th holes. Gurung — who was at the top of the leaderboard on the first day and shared the lead with Lama after the second round — shot seven-over 41 on the front nine and played one-over 35 on the latter half. Gurung faced a quintuple nine on par-4 second hole, while Lama suffered a double-par 10 on the first hole.

The top three players also earned Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively but as Gurung decided not to turn pro he is not eligible to get the cash prize. Out of the 18 players who took part in the event, 14 golfers completed their rounds. Nepal Golf Association President Madhukar Yakthumba and Nepal PGA Advisor Ghana Shyam Thapa handed over the prizes to the winners.