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Shrestha wins Surya Nepal Eastern Open

Assistant Brand Manager of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Saurabh Bhattarai handing over the winner’s trophy and cheque to Shivaram Shrestha (left) after the Surya Nepal Eastern Open at the Nirvana Country Club in Dharan, on Wednesday, December 21, 2016. Photo courtesy: NPGA

Dharan, December 22, 2016: Nepal No 1 Shivaram Shrestha claimed the title of the Surya Nepal Eastern Open here at the Nirvana Country Club Health and Golf Resort on Wednesday.

Shrestha carded two-under 68 for the 54-hole total of four-under 206 to win his 31st career title. Shrestha registered a seven-shot victory over fellow Royal Nepal Golf Club pro Rabi Khadka, who moved up to second after he played even-par 70. Army Club pro Sanjay Lama slipped to third with the total score of six-over 216 after he shot four-over 74.

The Nepal No 1 pro Shrestha, who was four shots ahead of Lama going into the final round, took the turn at two-under 33 and played even-par 35 on the latter half. Shrestha shot birdies on the second and sixth holes on the bogey-free front nine. He then began the back nine with three straight birdies before dropping shots on the 13th, 17th and 18 holes.

Former top pro Khadka began the day one shot behind Lama but he levelled the scores with one-over 36 after the Army Club pro played 37. On the back nine, Khadka scored one-under 34, while Lama faltered to two-over 37. Khadka faced bogies on the fifth and 10th holes against birdies on the 14th and 17th holes. Lama, meanwhile, dropped shots on the second, fourth, fifth and eighth holes and added three more on the 11th, 15th and 17th holes. He carded birdies on the third, sixth and 12th holes.

The top three pros received Rs 10,000, Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. Local pro Bal Bhadra Rai (71) finished fourth with the total score of eight-over 218 and earned Rs 40,000. Defending champion Bhuwan Nagarkoti (76) and Dhana Bahadur Thapa (76) shared the fifth position at 219. They got Rs 32,500 each. Rame Magar (73) shared the seventh position with local pro Deo Raj Pakhrin (73) at 12-over 222. They earned Rs 26,000 apiece. Deepak Magar came ninth at 226 and local pro Sabin Sapkota was 10th at 226.

Dharan’s Sukra Bahadur Rai won the amateur title after he carded second straight one-under 69. Rai was tied overall second with the score of three-over 213. Another local amateur Shiva Kumar Majhi (73) was a distant second at 217.

A total of 56 players — 31 pros and 25 amateur golfers — took part in the season opening tournament of Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2016-17. The event, organised by Nepal Professional Golfers Association under the sponsorship of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd, carried a total cash purse of Rs 600,000. Assistant Brand Manager of Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd Saurabh Bhattarai and Nepal Golf Association Member Maj Man Bahadur Limbu handed over the prizes to the winners. The tournament will end on Thursday with the Pro-Am event in which 36 amateurs will run shoulders with 13 professional golfers.