Shiva Ram wins Surya Nepal Central Open

Kathmandu, May 16:

Shiva Ram Shrestha carded two-under 70 in the final round to win the Surya Nepal Central Open here at the Le Meridien Gokarna Forest Golf resort and Spa today.

Shrestha, who shared lead with Deepak Thapa Magar going into the final round, totalled 10-under 278, that gave him the four-stroke win. Thapa Magar played a round of two-over for a total of 282.

“I am very happy for winning the tournament, but this is not the best golf I play,” said Shiva Ram. “My swing has been good these days but I will have to work on my putting in the future tournaments,” said Shiva Ram, who is the first Nepali golfer to qualify for the Indian golf tour. “If I play to my potential, I can make it six-seven under in every round,” he added.

Rabi Khadka and Toran Shahi finished joint third with 286, while Deepak Acharya and Sanjay Lama were tied for the fifth with the scores of 290.

In Amateur section, Tashi Ghale registered the nine-stroke victory over Rupak Acharya after he carded two-over 74 for the total of 295. Acharya played a round of eight-over 80 today. Raj Pradhan finished third with the total of 308.

With the win, Shiva Ram received Rs 70,000, while runner-up Thapa Magar got Rs 42,000. The third-place holders Khadka and Shahi earned Rs 32,000 each, while Deepak Acharya and Sanjay Lama pocketed Rs 20,000 apiece.

Shiva Ram and Thapa Magar started the day at 208 each. Thapa Magar took lead on the first hole when Shiva Ram bogeyed the par-4 hole. Shiva Ram managed to cut the deficit on the next hole with a birdie and the duo went neck to neck till the fifth hole.

The downfall of Thapa Magar started when he three-putted the sixth hole and got one shot behind. He then found water on the seventh and bunker on the eighth, which put him four strokes behind Shiva Ram, who birdied the seventh and ninth for total of three under 33 on the front nine.

On the back nine, both the players carded one over 37. Shiva Ram birdied the 12th and 14th holes and dropped a shot on the 13th hole, whereas Thapa Magar’s 37 included birdies on the 13th and 18th, a double bogey on the 14th and a bogey on the 17th hole. Shiva Ram was on course of equalling the 11-under winning score record, but missed the 10-foot putt on the last hole. Deepak Acharya holds the record set in the Kailash Tea Open in 2005.

Toran Shahi carded one-under 71, while Sanjay Lama returned the card of even-par 72. Deepak Acharya, who was six strokes adrift the lead after third round, played a round of four-over 76. Sanjay Lama played a round of even-par 72 to catch Acharya at the fifth position.

Member Secretary of National Sports Council Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Vice President - Marketing of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Samindra Roy, President of Nepal PGA Ghana Shyam Thapa, Director of Le Meridien Gokarna Forest Golf Resort and Spa Suman Sachdev and Vice President of Nepal Golf Association Rabindra Man Shrestha gave away prizes to the winners of the tournament organised by Nepal PGA under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd.

The second tournament under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2008 will be held from May 24-27 in three different courses of Kathmandu. The Golfer Pilot’s NPGA Classic, which features Pro-Am tournament on the first day, will be played at Gokarna, Royal Nepal Golf Club and Tribhuvan Army Officers’ Golf Club.

Scores after final round: Pros — 278 - Shiva Ram Shrestha; 282 - Deepak Thapa Magar; 286 - Rabi Khadka, Toran Shahi; 290 - Deepak Acharya, Sanjay Lama; 291 - Deepak Neupane; 294 - C B Bhandari; 299 - Radheshyam Thapa; 302 - Sachin Bhattarai, Ram Thapa, Ramesh Nagarkoti; 305 - Ramesh Nagarkoti, Ram Krishna Shrestha, Surya Sharma; 313 - Mani Rai; 325 - Suman Sapkota, Sukra Raj Limbu. Amateurs — 295 - Tashi Ghale, 304 - Rupak Acharya, 308 - Raj Pradhan, 315 - Krishna Hari Mizar, 318 - Jaya Ram Shrestha, 324 - Krishna Man Rajbahak, 328 - Prakash Neupane, Prasanna Upreti; 340 - Tham Bahadur Rai.