POKHARA, APRIL 8
Sukra Bahadur Rai won the Surya Nepal Western Open here at the Himalayan Golf Course today to lift his fourth major title.
Rai, who won the Dharan Open at his home club last month to claim the first major title as a professional golfer, registered five-stroke victory over amateur Subash Tamang.
Rai had won two major titles in Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2019-20 season becoming the first amateur golfer to win two trophies in the same season and he turned pro after winning team event gold medal in the 13th South Asian Games held on home soil in December 2019.
Rai carded two-under 67 in the third and final round to post the 54-hole total of six-under 201, while Tamang played even-par 69 to finish the event as amateur winner with the score of one-under 206. Along with the title, Rai claimed a pay cheque of Rs 130,000.
Rai began the day with twostroke cushion over Sanjay Lama and three shots over amateur Tamang, who reduced the deficit by one shot after he carded even-par 34 and two others played one-over 35 each. The back nine made all the difference as Rai carded three-under 32, while Tamang and Lama shot 35 and 36 respectively.
Rai, who dropped a shot on the eighth hole, carded birdies on the 13th, 15th and 16th after taking the turn.
The 13th SA Games double gold medal winner, Tamang faced a bogey on the seventh and carded a birdie on the ninth before he dropped shots on the 11th and 13th against birdies on the 16th and 17th holes. Lama - who dropped a shot on the first hole and faced a double bogey on the fifth - carded birdies on the sixth and eighth holes before taking the turn. On the back nine, Lama faced bogeys on the 11th, 15th and 18th holes against birdies on the 14th and 17th holes.
Nepal No 1 Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Sanjay Lama were tied for second among pros at even-par 207. Nagarkoti, who won the season-opening Surya Nepal Central Open last month at Gokarna Golf Club, carded two-under 67 in the final round to earn a share of second position after Lama - who was joint leader with Rai in the first round and fell two shots off the pace after the second day - faltered to two-over 72. They received Rs 72,000 each.
Bal Bhadra Rai finished fourth at seven-over 214 and he earned Rs 50,000, while Binod Tamang came fifth at 10- over 217 to receive Rs 42,000.
Bhuwan Kumar Rokka was sixth at 11-over 218 earning Rs 37,500, while defending champion Dhana Bahadur Thapa came seventh at 12-over 219 and he got Rs 35,000. Tanka Bahadur Karki and Surya Prasad Sharma shared the eighth place at 13-over 220 and they got Rs 31000 each. Sanjeev Bahadur Nepali and Dinesh Prajapati were tied for 10th position at 14-over 221 and they earned Rs 27,000 each.
Local amateur Ajit BK was a distant second among amateurs, 17 strokes behind winner Tamang, at 16-over 223 after he shot three-over 72 in the final round, while Ritesh Tamang came third at 22-over 229.
A total of 51 golfers - 37 pros and 14 amateurs - took part in the third event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2021 which offered a cash purse of Rs 735,000. The tournament will conclude with Pro-Am event on Friday. Nepal Police AIG Hari Bahadur Pal, Regional Sales Manager of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Prakash KC, Nepal Golf Association Vice-president Pavitra Kumar Karki and Chief of Gandaki Province Police DIG Ghana Shyam Aryal handed over prizes to the winners.
A version of this article appears in the print on April 9, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.