Rai wins Bhutan Open Amateur Championship

Kathmandu, October 13

Nepal No 1 amateur golfer Sukra Bahadur Rai won the 28th Bhutan Open Amateur Championship at the Royal Thimpu Golf Club in Thimpu today.

Rai carded even-par 70 in the final round for the 72-hole total score of four-under 276. He registered one-stroke victory over Ziwang Gurung of Bhutan. Gurung carded one-under 69 today. Rai became third Nepali golfer to win Bhutan Open after Deepak Thapa Magar (1993) and Tanka Bahadur Karki (2017). Rai began the campaign with three-over 73 and came into contention with course-record round of nine-under 61 on the second day. He then played two-over 72 in the third round.

Three other Nepali players finished in top five with young Subash Tamang claiming third position with the total score of two-over 282 after he played three-over 73 in the final round. The 2017 edition champion Tanka Bahadur Karki finished fourth at 285, while Niraj Tamang came fifth at 288. Karki carded even-par 70 in the final round, while Tamang shot 74.

Rai, who won the team event gold medal with Karki in 2017, began the day with two-stroke cushion over home club amateur Gurung and carded even-par 35 on both halves. The players were levelled before taking the turn after Gurung carded two-under 33 on the front nine, but the local player shot one over 36 on the back nine.

Rai carded birdies on the second and sixth holes but faced bogeys on the fifth and eighth before taking the turn. On the back nine, he carded a birdie on the 11th and dropped a shot on the final hole. Rai and Gurung went neck-to-neck for four holes on the back nine before the latter faced bogeys on the 14th and 17th holes. With two-shot advantage going into the final hole, Rai could afford to drop a shot to capture the trophy after Gurung saved par.

Subash Tamang played two over 37 on the front nine and shot one-over 36 on the latter half, while Karki took the turn at one-under 34 before shooting one-over 36 on the back nine. Likewise, Tamang shot three over 38 and one-over 36 on two halves respectively.

Sukra Bahadur Rai and Subash Tamang finished second in team event after they lost by one stroke to Ziwang and Tshendra Dorji in the 36-hole competition. A total of 80 players from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan took part in the tournament organised by Bhutan Golf Federation.