Challenge and chance for golfer Nagarkoti
Kathmandu, May 18
Bhuwan Nagarkoti will be looking to end Shivaram Shrestha’s iron grip as the country’s top pro when he tees off the Surya Nepal Premier Golf Championship at the Gokarna Golf Club on May 21.
Shrestha has enjoyed the top spot in Order of Merit ever since the tour began in 2008-09 except for the second season when Rabi Khadka topped him. And despite winning five out of nine events in the current season, Shrestha is not assured of retaining the No 1 status this time around as Nagarkoti has been pushing hard from behind.
Nagarkoti has won three titles in the current season and he is Rs 133,700 behind Shrestha in Order of Merit. With the winner of the Surya Nepal Premier earning Rs 230,000, Nagarkoti has the chance to replace Shrestha at the top. Nagarkoti can get the No 1 status for the first time in his career under two conditions: First he needs to win the title on his home course and secondly Shrestha needs to finish third or worse.
But Nagarkoti knows it’s not going to be an easy task. “I know that I am in contention and I have got the hunger to do well in the event,” says Nagarkoti. The field is also strong because of the arrival of the Nepali pros who have been working abroad. “There are a couple of pros who can turn the game. Shivaram and Sanjay Lama are few of them,” said Nagarkoti, who will also be looking to capture his third straight and fourth title of the season. “I enjoy playing under tough conditions and the strength of the field has motivated me to do well.”
Nagarkoti made a slow start to the season and won the Surya Nepal Challenge before adding Surya Nepal Kathmandu Open and Surya Nepal NPGA Tour Championship titles in his kitty. On the other hand, Shrestha bagged five events to take his personal tally to 41 and he will be eyeing to finish the season with a bang.
Nagarkoti has overcome the problem of letting it go towards the end of the events but still he knows dislodging Shrestha from the summit is a tough job. “I have started my preparations for the tournament in full swing and I am focusing on improving my chipping and putting,” says Nagarkoti. “I got success because of my putting strength and if I can improve a little bit in chipping I know can give a tough fight in the final event,” he adds.