Magar first Nepali to win Surya Nepal Masters

Kathmandu, March 31:

Deepak Thapa Magar, the Royal Nepal Golf Club pro, became the first Nepali in 13 years to win the Surya Nepal Masters at the Le Meridien Gokarna Forest Golf Resort and Spa today.

Despite carding one-over 73 in the final round, the 39-year-old finished with a tally of eight-under 280 and earned Rs 324,000. Another local pro Sabin Sapkota stole the limelight with a flawless six-under 66 that saw him finish behind only Thapa Magar. Sapkota’s five-under 283 earned him Rs 224,000. Sasidaran, one of the three Malaysian golfers participating in the event, tied with Deepak Acharya for third at one-under 287. The duo received Rs 114,000 each.

Feroz Ali of India finished fifth at one-over 289 while first-day leader Suleiman Ali ended up 11th at 295. Feroz bagged Rs 82,000 and Suleiman earned Rs 42,000. Two other Malaysians finished in the top 15. Faridil Atras finished eighth at 293 and Lam Kong Loom was at 12th with overall 297. Parnita Garewal, the first and only woman participant, finished at 55th place. Rookie golfer Suman Sapkota won the ‘Most Promising Nepali Golfer’ award for which he earned Rs 9,200.

Meanwhile, Ravi Khadka shot a final round of 75 to win the amateur title with the tournament tally of six over 294. Surya Prasad Sharma came second at 303 and Tashi Ghale third at 305.

Thapa Magar started the day with a bogey caused by a missed four-foot putt. He drew level after a birdie in the very next hole. He had a birdie on the sixth but drop shots on the next two holes. He went on to drop two more shots on the 12th and 16th but the eventual winner sank birdies on the final two holes. Any chance of play-off with Sapkota, who was five-under for the day at that stage, evaporated after Magar’s final two birdies.

Sapkota began the day 10 shots behind Magar at fourth position. He started with a par but struck soon after with a birdie on the second. By the end of the front nine Sapkota was four-under with three birdies - third, sixth and ninth. Sapkota sank a 20 feet putt for a birdie on the 12th followed by another 12 feet curling birdie putt on the 18th.

Deepak Acharya finished with a card of one-under 71. Sasidaran finish the day with at three-under 69. President of Nepal Golf Association Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, Managing Director of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Harsh Dar and chairman of Le Meridien Gokarna Forest Golf Resort and Spa Prem Sachdev gave away the prizes.