Jayaram Shrestha claimed the maiden career title when he won the Surya Nepal Kathmandu Open here at the Royal Nepal Golf Club today.

Shrestha, who had been under the shadow of his younger brother Shivaram, who ruled the Surya Nepal Golf Tour for more than a decade, finally tasted victory in the season-opening event of the 14th edition. Shrestha carded four-under 64 to post the winning total of nine-under 263 and bagged a cheque of Rs 110,000 along with the trophy.

Shrestha, who was the co-leader in the first round at six-under 62, faltered to two-over 70 on the second day before returning to contention with one-under 67 in the third round. He began the final day two strokes behind leader Rabi Khadka and stamped his authority on the back nine after his opponents failed to keep the momentum going.

"At one stage I had given hopes as Rabi [Khadka] was on 10-under with five strokes lead," said Shrestha.

"But he had a triple bogey on the sixth hole and I played my own game to get the first victory of my career," he added. "I just cannot express my happiness in words. I am over the moon today."

Shrestha was one stroke behind Khadka before taking the turn. He levelled the scores with a birdie on the 10th and took the lead on the next hole after Khadka faced a bogey. Shrestha extended the lead to twostrokes with three straight birdies on 12th, 13th and 14th after Khadka managed just one. While Shrestha saved pars on the last four holes, Khadka faced a bogey on the 15th and suffered a double bogey on the final hole that forced him to share the fourth position with Kumar Kami and Bhuwan Kumar Rokka.

Nepal No 1 pro Bhuwan Nagarkoti sneaked into the second position after he carded two-under 66 for the 72-hole total of seven-under 265, while Dinesh Prajapati (68) came third at 267.

Nagarkoti, who was one stroke behind Shrestha at one stage, earned Rs 74,000, while Prajapati received Rs 60,000.

Winner of the two events out of three tournaments held due to the coronavirus pandemic in his debut season last year, Sukra Bahadur Rai was seventh at two-under 270, while Dhana Bahadur Thapa and Sanjay Lama were tied for eighth at twoover 274. Binod Tamang finished 10th at 277.

In amateur section, the 13th South Asian Games double gold medallist, Subash Tamang finished first with the 72-hole score of two-under 270. Tamang, who finished joint seventh overall, registered a 23-stroke victory over Maj Nischaya Jung Rayamajhi.

The Tribhuvan Army Officers Golf Club amateur, Rayamajhi played eightover 76 to finish second, while Bidur Tamang was third at 295.

In all, 55 players - 40 pros and 15 amateurs - took part in the first event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2021-22 that offered the cash purse of Rs 640,000. Vice-president (Marketing) at Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Dipra Lahiri, President of Professional Golfers Association Nepal Rabindra Man Shrestha and RNGC President Prachanda Bahadur Shrestha gave away prizes to the winners.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.