Kathmandu, June 10:

The Surya Nepal Masters 2008 provided much more than what was expected both in terms of quality golf and the competition. An event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour, the tournament with a prize purse of two million rupees attracted top players from the SAARC nations.

The Surya Nepal Masters 2008 opened with the Standard Chartered Pro-Am. Local favourite Shiva Ram Shrestha, who has been touted as the Tiger Woods of Nepal for his driving prowess, gave a warning with a scintillating round of 8-under par 64. But as soon as he teed it up in the main event, he lost his rhythm to finish in top 10. Leaving aside the two powerful hitters Gurbaz Mann and Vijay Kumar, there was a gentle, soft spoken pro, Shamim Khan, who shattered the course record with an opening round of 10-under 62.

Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka, with a late charge, came second, while the main contenders Gurbaaz and Vijay had to settle for lower places. The pint-sized dynamo Shamim was a 11-shot winner and also posted a record total of 23-under.

Hole-in-ones galore: The ratio of a hole-in-one is 1:16000 but who would have guessed that two hole-in-ones would happen and on the same hole! Amateur Lobsang Tashi and pro Ram Thapa, both Nepali golfers, aced the par-3 13th on the first day of the main event.

Bangladesh too good: The Bangladeshi pair of Mohd Shekhawat Hussain and Shahid steamrolled past four other teams — India, Sri Lanka and two from Nepal — to win the inaugural International Amateur Event. Nepal ‘A’ consisting of Tashi Ghale and Rupak Acharya came second.