Rai falters in final round, finishes 26th

Kathmandu, October 6

Nepali golfer Sukra Bahadur Rai finished at 26th position in the 83rd Singha Thailand Amateur Open at the par-71 Panya Indra Golf Club in Bangkok today.

Rai faltered to his worst round of the tournament firing a seven-over 78 in the final round to finish the tournament at five-over 291. He had opened the campaign with one-over 72 before carding two-under 69 in the second round and shot another 72 on the third day. He shared the sixth position after the second round.

Rai began the final round with a double bogey and dropped shots on the fifth, eighth and ninth holes to take the turn at five-over 40. Rai then faced bogeys on the 10th, 13th and 17th holes against a lone birdie on the 16th to finish the back nine at two-over 38.

Rai slipped 17 positions down after the final round but Nepal Golf Association President Tashi Ghale, who is also in Thailand as team manager, was satisfied with the overall performance of his player. “I am happy with the way Sukra performed in the tournament. He was good at almost every aspect of the game,” Ghale told The Himalayan Times.

Ghale said Rai needed to improve on fitness level. “He looked tired in the final round and lacked in endurance. We will have to work on that for future events,” added Ghale. Regarding Tanka Bahadur Karki’s performance, Ghale said the golfer needed to be more concentrating and improve on his short game. “Tanka lost rhythm from the beginning and he also needs to improve on his short game,” said Ghale. Karki played four-over 75 in the final round to add to his previous scores of 84, 78 and 72. He finished 58th with the total score of 25-over 309.

The Nepali golfers will now undergo two-week training at the Springfield Club in Bangkok from Saturday. They will then travel to New Zealand to participate in the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship slated for October 26-30. After that, the golfers will undergo one-week training in Malaysia before taking part in the Asia Pacific Team Championship, also known as Nomura Cup, in Kuala Lumpur from November 9-12.

The NGA feted Karki and Rai with Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively and raised their monthly allowances by Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 each apart from arranging training for them after they brought home the trophy from Bhutan last month. Karki won overall title of Bhutan Open, while he teamed up with Rai — who was third in individual section — to claim the Team trophy.