Shiva Ram wins CMS Open

Kathmandu, March 19:

Shiva Ram Shrestha completed the formality to defend the CMS Open Golf Championship at the Royal Nepal Golf Course today.

Shiva Ram, who had a 13-stroke lead going into the final round, carded one-over 68 today for a total of even-par 268, winning the tournament with the record margin of 21 strokes over Rabi Khadka and Ramesh Nagarkoti. The RNGC duo finished second with the scores of 21-over 289 apiece.

Surya Sharma finished fourth at 293 while Deepak Thapa Magar came fifth with the score of 294. Deepak Acharya (296), Sabin Sapkota (300), CB Bhandari (304), Jay Ram Shrestha (306) and Sanjay Lama (310) also came in the top 10.

This win was Shiva Ram’s fifth in the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2008-09. He won the Central Open, Golfer Pilots NPGA Classic, Samsung Match Play and Ghanashyam Thapa’s Golden Jubilee Golf Championship. In other events, Shiva Ram had finished third in the Western Open and eighth in the Eastern Open. He also had a top 10 finish in the Surya Nepal Masters.

“It was an easy victory as there was no one to give pressure from behind,” said Shiva Ram. “I played freely as I had a huge lead,” he added.

Out of the total cash prize of Rs 500,000, Shiva Ram received Rs 112,000, while Nagakoti and Khadka earned Rs 62,500 each. Sharma and Thapa Magar got Rs 45,000 and Rs 36,000 respectively. The top 16 pros received their share of cash prizes.

On Thursday, Shiva Ram carded one-over 34 on the front nine despite having a double bogey on the first hole. He sank birdies on the fourth and ninth holes against a bogey on the seventh hole. On the back nine, Shiva Ram shot even par 34 that included birdie on 13th and bogey on the 12th hole.

Nagarkoti, who was one stroke behind Rabi Khadka and Deepak Acharya after the completion of the front nine, was lucky to finish tied second after a round of four-over 71, thanks to a dismal nine-over 76 from Khadka and 15-over 82 from Acharya. Nagarkoti sank three birdies on the fifth, 10th and 13th against five bogeys and a double bogey. Khadka had four bogeys and three double bogeys against a lone birdie.

“I could not perform in this event but I finished tied second due to Rabi Khadka’s mistakes,” said Nagarkoti. “The last was the key where I played it safe and settled for a bogey while Rabi made a double bogey,” he added. Khadka said the performance on the home course was dismal. “No matter you win or lose, but you got to get a good score,” he said.

Acharya, who was on top after the first round and slipped to third by the end of the third day, played horrible golf on the back nine to finish sixth. He had two triple bogeys — on the first and 11th holes — and a double bogey on the 17th before dropping six shots on the par-4 18th hole. A par on the last hole would have given him the fourth place.

In amateur section, Rupak Acharya, who was two strokes adrift leader Dhana Thapa going into the final day, bounced back to win the trophy. This was Acharya’s second title in the Tour after winning the Golfer Pilots NPGA Classic. He carded two-over 69 for a total of 40-over 308, while Thapa shot 10-over 77 that put him four strokes behind the winner. Tham Bahadur Thapa finished third at 319 after a round of 76.

The 72-hole stroke play event was jointly organised by Nepal Professional Golfer’s Association and RNGC under the sponsorship of International Society of Medical Education (ISME) Pvt Ltd. An amateur tournament — CMS Cup — will be held on Friday and Saturday.