Dharan, February 25:

The seventh event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2008-09 Surya Nepal Eastern Open tees off here at the Nirvana Country Club Health and Golf Resort on Thursday.

The first two days will see the top Nepali professional golfers vying for the championship while the final day will see the amateur golfers teaming up with the pros for the Pro-Am event.

The city is hosting a major golf tournament for the first time since 2000 thanks to the organisers Nepal Professional Golfers Association and tournament sponsor Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. Played over 36 holes, the event carries a purse of Rs 300,000 with the winner walking away with a cheque of Rs 65,000. Others finishing in the top 15 will also get their share of cash prizes.

Winners of four events under the tour, Shiva Ram Shrestha will be the favourite among the other talented golfers. The Surya Nepal Masters champion Deepak Thapa Magar, Deepak Acharya, Pashupati Sharma, Rabi Khadka and Ramesh Nagarkoti are the other contenders for the championship.

Teaching pro in Germany, Sabin Sapkota will be joined by his younger brother Suman in his home town while other local talents Mani Rai and Deoraj Pakrin will also have the opportunity to prove their talents in their home course.