Shrestha beats Khadka in playoff

Kathmandu, July 7

Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha forced the playoff with a birdie and defeated Rabi Khadka on the first extra hole to win the Surya Nepal NPGA Tour Championship here at the Gokarna Golf Club today.

Defending champion Shrestha, who took the match to playoff with a birdie from more than seven feet on the final hole, carded a birdie from around 30 feet to claim the second title of the season and 30th overall after Khadka missed it from 35 yards.

Shrestha, who finished runner-up in the first five events of the season, won the Surya Nepal Match Play in March.

The two RNGC pros, who were tied at even-par 216 after the third round, matched the final day score, carding two-under 70 in the seventh and final event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2015-16.

Overnight leader Bhuwan Nagarkoti — who was four strokes clear of the duo going into the final day — faltered to his worst round of the tournament shooting three-over 75 at his home course to slip down to third with the total score of one-under 287. Along with the trophy, Shrestha received Rs 100,000, while Khadka earned Rs 63,000 and Nagarkoti bagged Rs 45,000.

Shrestha played even-par 36 on the front nine that included birdies on the third and eighth holes against bogeys on the first and fourth. On the bogey-free back nine, he carded birdies on the 12th and 18th holes. Likewise, Khadka played one-under on either half.

He carded four birdies on the second, seventh, 11th and 15th and dropped shots on the eighth and 14th holes. Nagarkoti had a bad day as he dropped shots in the fifth, 11th, 13th and 14th holes before carding the lone birdie of the day on the final hole.

Army Club pro Sanjay Lama, who was two shots behind Nagarkoti and two strokes ahead of Shrestha and Khadka, faltered to four-over 76 and finished fourth at two-over 290.

Ramesh Adhikari came fifth at 291 after he shot one-over 73, while first-round leader Jayaram Shrestha (73) finished sixth at five-over 293. Veteran pro Deepak Magar, Rame Magar, Ramesh Nagarkoti and Dhana Thapa completed the top 10.

Tanka Karki produced the best card of the day, shooting three-under 60 to win the amateur section trophy with the total score of three-over 291.

Tashi Tshiring, who led the field for the first three days, faltered to five-over 77 to finish second at seven-over 295, while Sukra Bahadur Rai was a distant third at 312 after he posted three-over 75.

In all, 46 golfers —31 pros and 15 amateurs — took part in the tournament organised by Nepal PGA under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. The tournament carried a total purse of Rs 540,750 and top 21 pros received their share of cash prizes.

Brand Manager of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Rajat Thapa, Nepal PGA President Rabindra Man Shrestha, Advisor Ghana Shyam Thapa and General Secretary of Nepal Golf Association Tashi Ghale handed over prizes to the winners.