Shiva Ram eyes Asian Circuit

KATHMANDU: After qualifying for the Indian Tour (PGTI) for two years in a row, Nepal’s top professional golfer Shiva Ram Shrestha is eying the Asian circuit.

Shiva Ram, who topped the Nepal PGA list last year with five wins in nine events earning Rs 500,000, is preparing for the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Bangkok next January. “I know it will be tough as top players will be coming there. But I am hopeful of doing well,” said Shiva Ram. “If I qualify for the Asian Tour, that will be a dream come true for me,” he added.

The first step, for the same, is the one and half month training at the Heartland Golf Schools in New York beginning next month. Shiva Ram is leaving for USA in the first week of August and will remain there till the third week of September.

According to Nepal’s No 1, he will be focusing on swing, back swing and posture. “As I have been facing problems in the swing, especially back swing, I will be mainly focusing on it,” said Shiva Ram. “Apart from that I will also learn the basics required for the higher level of golf during my stay there,” he added. “I could not do well in the latter half of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour last year because of the problems with the swing,” revealed Shiva Ram, who won the five of the first six events under the Tour in 2008-09.

The two-time Surya Nepal Masters participant will undergo training with Aaron Bergman and Manuel de la Torre. While Aaron is a regular trainer of Shiva Ram since 2006, Torre — a member of the PGA Teachers Hall of Fame as well as the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame — will be looking after Shiva Ram for the first time.

The man behind the success of Shiva Ram, who belongs to a middle class family, Tashi Ghale is concerned about the golfer’s future. An amateur golfer himself and a successful businessman, Ghale said Shiva Ram had still a lot to prove. “He has not reached to the height where he should have been already,” said Ghale. “That’s why I have arranged the training in the US where he will learn the techniques with renowned teachers and will pair with the local golfers there,” he added.

“We are hopeful that he would become better once he completes the training,” said Ghale,

the mentor of Shiva Ram. The training also includes practice matches for Shiva Ram against other professional golfers of the Heartland School.

According to Ghale, Shiva Ram’s America trip was materialised after Aaron granted training scholarships at the Heartland Golf Schools and Yak Restaurant, run by a Nepali, agreed to provide the accommodation facilities free of costs. “We are now trying to find sponsors for air tickets and fooding expenses for Shiva Ram,” said Ghale, who is also the General Secretary of Nepal Golf Association.

Shiva Ram, Rupak invited for Asia Pacific Panasonic Open

KATHMANDU: Asia Pacific Golf Confederations (APGC) has invited top professional golfer Shiva Ram Shestha and No 1 amateur Rupak Acharya to take part in the 2009 Asia Pacific Panasonic Open to be held in Japan from September 24-27 at the Joyo Country Club in Kyoto. The APGC has invited top-ranked pro and amateur golfers from the APGC member associations, top 10 players each from the Asian Tour and Japan Tour, winners of the last three Japan PGA events and last five Japan Open Championships for the event. Out of the total prize money of 150 milllion Japanese Yen ($1.58 million), the winner will receive 30 million Yen. The player finishing 60th will earn 55,500 Yen. No Nepali golfer in the past has participated in such a prestigious tournament.