Shrestha makes it two in a row

Kathmandu, January 13

Shivaram Shrestha claimed the second straight title of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour’s current season for his 32nd career title here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

The Nepal No 1 pro Shrestha posted an impressive eight-under 264 to register a 10-stroke victory over Bhuwan Nagarkoti of Gokarna Golf Club in the Surya Nepal Challenge. Starting the day with two-shot cushion, Shrestha underlined his supremacy in the Tour with a four-under 64 to add to the previous three round scores of 68, 66 and 66.

The RNGC pro Shrestha took the turn at one-over 35 that included bogeys on the second and fourth holes against a birdie on the fifth. But that was enough for him to extend the lead to three shots. As the chasing pack kept on stumbling Shrestha began the back nine with two straight birdies and sank an eagle on the 13th. He then carded a birdie on the 17th hole for a bogey-free five-under 29 on the back nine.

Shrestha said he was happy with the final score but still needed to work on the performance of the first two days. “I don’t know what happens to me in the first two rounds but I have not able to perform well most of the times,” said Shrestha. “Otherwise, an eight-under finish at the RNGC is a good score,” said Shrestha, who won the season-opening Surya Nepal Eastern Open. Shrestha received Rs 75,000 along with the trophy.

Nagarkoti, who was four shots adrift the leader and two behind Jayaram Shrestha going into the final round, submitted the card of two-over 70 but still finished second at two-over 174. Shrestha faltered to six-over 74 and shared the third place with Sanjay Lama (69) at 276. While Nagarkoti earned Rs 46,000, Shrestha and Lama received Rs 29,250 each. Rame Magar (73) came fifth at 279 and received Rs 23,000, while Rabi Khadka (71) was sixth at 281 and earned Rs 21,000. Chuda Bahadur Bhandari, Dhana Bahadur Thapa and Deepak Magar shared the seventh position. They received Rs 17,333 each. Surya Prasad Sharma finished 10th at 284 and got Rs 15,000.

In amateur section, Santosh Rokka won his maiden trophy of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour with the total score of 19-over 291 despite shooting a 75 in the final round. Dharan’s Jiwan Rai, who shot carded two-over 70, made a Hole-in-One on the par-3 14th to finish second at 292, while overnight leader Mithun Rai (78) slipped to third at 293. Rai received a separate trophy for the feat.

A total of 40 players, 29 pros and 11 amateurs, took part in the Rs 400,000 tournament organised by Nepal PGA. Marketing Manager of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Bal Kishan Gurung and President of Nepal Golf Association Madhukar Yakthumba gave away prizes to the winners of the tournament.

After the Qualifying School scheduled for January 24-26 at the RNGC, the Tour continues with the Surya Nepal Western Open from February 8 at the Himalaya Golf Course in Pokhara, informed Deepak Acharya, General Secretary of the Nepal PGA.