Dinesh Prajapati plays a shot against Dhana Bahadur Thapa during their first round match of the Surya Nepal NPGA Match Play at RNGC on Tuesday. Photo: THT
Dinesh Prajapati plays a shot against Dhana Bahadur Thapa during their first round match of the Surya Nepal NPGA Match Play at RNGC on Tuesday. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, January 15

Dinesh Prajapati registered a shock victory over Dhana Bahadur Thapa in the first round match of the Surya Nepal NPGA Match Play here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

Prajapati, who is ranked 14th in the Order of Merit, stunned third-ranked Thapa 3&2 to advance to the quarter-finals along with Shivaram Shrestha, Bhuwan Nagarkoti, Jayaram Shrestha, Rame Magar, Deepak Magar,  Bal Bhadra Rai, and Bhuwan Kumar Rokka.

Shrestha brothers Shivaram and Jayaram were the biggest winners of the day registering identical 7&6 victories over Pashupati Sharma and Pradeep Kumar Lama respectively, while second-ranked Nagarkoti defeated fellow Gokarna Golf Club pro Deepak Acharya in the second extra hole after they were tied in regulation 18 holes.

Rame Magar defeated Bikash Adhikari 6&5, while Bhuwan Kumar Rokka beat Sanjay Lama in the first extra hole after they were tied in regulation 18 holes. Bal Bhadra Rai outplayed Surya Prasad Sharma 4&3, while veteran Deepak Magar edged past former No 1 pro Rabi Khadka 3&2.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals are slated for Wednesday, while the third-place match and the final — which will be played over 36 holes — are scheduled for Thursday. Top pro Shivaram will face Deepak Magar in the quarter-finals, while his sibling Jayaram will play against Rame Magar. Likewise, Rokka will take on Prajapati, while Nagarkoti will play against Bal Bhadra Rai.

The top 16 pros in last year’s Order of Merit took part in the tournament which carries a cash purse of Rs 250,000. The top four pros will receive Rs 70,000, Rs 40,000, Rs 28,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively, whereas the four losing quarter-finalists will earn Rs 11,000 each. The eight pros who lost in the first round will get Rs 6,000 apiece.