Golfer Sherpa all set for training in US

Kathmandu, June 27

Top woman golfer Pratima Sherpa and her coach Sachin Bhattarai are on July 2 leaving for the United States of America for training and take part in number of tournaments.

The 18-year-old Sherpa, who lives with her family at a hut near Hole No 3 green of the Royal Nepal Golf Club, will undergo training for two months at the Golf Academy of Olivia Links Golf Course in Ventura apart from taking part in three events — 50th Titleist Match Play Championship at the Olivia Links Golf Course in Ventura, Founder’s Cup at Las Posas Country Club at Camarillo, and Taylormade Tour Championship at River Ridge Golf Club in Victoria Lakes.

The Nepal Golf Association, which initiated the move for Sherpa’s training and tournaments in the US, said the NGA was able to do so with the support from various individuals and organizations. “We are proud to promote golfers like Sherpa and we are doing this to give exposure to one of the best women golfers of the country,” said NGA Youth Development Director Deepak Acharya.

Sherpa’s tour to the US was possible only after Qatar Airways and Gokarna Forest Resort agreed to sponsor air tickets to her and coach Bhattarai. “We really appreciate Qatar Airway’s generous support in promoting golf and Sherpa on this occasion,” said Acharya, who is also the Senior Golf Director at Gokarna Golf Club. Qatar Airways sponsored the air tickets worth Rs 400,000, while Gokarna Forest Resort paid the tax of Rs 71,000.

Country Manager of Qatar Airways Jayprakash Nair said he was proud to get the opportunity to sponsor Sherpa on her bid to becoming a top professional golfer. “Golf is generally a sport of rich people but Sherpa has proved it wrong. We agreed to sponsor Sherpa as we had heard a lot about her. I am sure she is going to bring a lot of titles and medals to Nepal in future,” said Nair. “We would like to wish her all the best for her future and we hope Sherpa will be an icon of Nepali sports in the days to come,” added Nair.

Sherpa, who aims to become No 1 professional golfer of the country and participate in the Ladies PGA in future, thanked Qatar Airways and NGA for managing the tour. “I am really thankful to Qatar Airways for giving me the opportunity to fly with the world’s best career,” said Sherpa. “The NGA has arranged my trip to the US and I hope that the training and exposure will help me a lot to materalise my dreams,” said Sherpa, who has received a congratulatory letter from former World No 1 golfer Tiger Woods.

“I will get chances to learn more as training in foreign is different than that of our country. After the tour, I will participate in national and international tournaments which will help me to become a good player,” said the five-handicap amateur Sherpa. “I have come to this stage with the help of a lot of individual and organizations and I hope to reach the next level with their support,” added Sherpa, who has won a total of 32 titles in social and amateur tournaments.

NGA General Secretary CB Bhandari said Sherpa was the product of Youth Development Programme and the association hoped to get more such players from CMS Junior Golf Development Programme which was launched last week. “The NGA has been continuously working for the development of golf apart from support underprivileged players like Sherpa. She is a talented golfer and we are sure that she will make the nation proud,” said Bhandari. “We are thankful to the world renowned airways for the support to Sherpa in her bid to become a champion golfer and we hope to get such help in future as well,” he added.