Nagarkoti wins Surya Nepal Eastern Open

Kathmandu, December 25

Bhuwan Nagarkoti registered a one-stroke victory over Shiva Ram Shrestha to win the title of the Surya

Nepal Eastern Open here at the Nirvana Country Club on Friday.

The Gokarna Golf Club pro Nagarkoti carded eight birdies on his way to a three-under 67 in the third and final round to post a four-under 206 total for his second major title. Top pro Shivaram Shrestha finished second at 207 after he carded one-under 69.

Overnight leader, amateur golfer Shiva Kumar Majhi faltered to two-over 208 to slip down to overall third at 208 that restricted him to amateur section trophy. Army Club pro Sanjay Lama finished third with the total score of even-par 210 after he posted even-par 70 in the final round. The top three pros received Rs 100,000,

Rs 63,000 and Rs 45,000 respectively.

Nagarkoti, who began the day three strokes behind Majhi and one behind Shrestha, shot five birdies against two bogeys on the front nine to be level with the Nepal No 1 pro who carded one-under 34. Majhi shot three-over 38 to be one behind the duo going into the second half. The trio went neck-to-neck with all three players tied at three-under before Nagarkoti won it with a birdie on the final hole.

Shrestha went three clear of Nagarkoti after 13th hole before the Gokarna pro came back into the match. Both the pros were tied going into the final hole. Nagarkoti found the bunker with the tee shot, while Shrestha drove to the right.

A near-perfect approach shot saw Nagarkoti put the ball within two feet of the pin, whereas Shrestha’s second hit a poor shot and failed to make the birdie putt from 35 feet.

Nagarkoti’s front nine included five birdies on the first, second, fifth, seventh and eighth holes against bogeys on the third, fourth and ninth. On the back nine, he added three more birdies on the 14th, 16th and 18th after dropping shots on the 11th and 13th holes.

Shrestha carded one-under 25 on the front nine that included three straight birdies from the second against two bogeys on the first and ninth holes. On the even-par 35 back nine, Shrestha carded a lone birdie on the 10th and faced a bogey on the 15th hole.

Nagarkoti credited his calm and composed game for the victory. “I had not planned anything for the day. I was three strokes behind the leader and concentrated on my own game as I wanted to play my natural game without being distracted by the performance of other players,” added Nagarkoti. “I have changed my game and this is what I have learnt from my previous experience of playing in the final group,” said Nagarkoti, who won the Surya Nepal Western Open last season.

Local pros Bal Bhadra (Mani) Rai and Tham Bahadur Rai came fourth and fifth respectively. Mani carded even-par 72 for a total score of three-over 213 to receive Rs 38,000, while Tham was two strokes behind after shooting a 73 and got Rs 33,500. Purna Sharma (74) was sixth at 216, while Army pro Dhana Thapa (75) came seventh at 217. Ram Krishna Maharjan, Ramesh Adhikari and Rabi Khadka finished in top 10.

Rector of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences Prof Dr Bikram Shrestha, Assistant Brand Manager of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Rajat Thapa, Vice President of Nepal Golf Association Purna Bahadur Rai, President of Sunsari District Golf Association Maj Dal Bahadur Rai, Secretary Tilak Rai and Sunsari district Coordination Committee President of Nepal Sports Journalists Forum Ratna Prasad Acharya handed over the prizes to the winners.

A total of 50 players including 23 amateurs took part in the third event of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2015-16. The tournament carried a total cash purse of Rs 540,750. The tournament will conclude with Pro-Am event on Saturday.