Chadha wins Surya Masters, Shrestha finishes third
KATHMANDU, March 17: Quest of Nepali golfers to win the Surya Nepal Masters, the biggest and the only international golf tournament of the country, failed once again on Saturday as Nepal No 1 Shiva Ram Shrestha finished third.
Abhijit Singh Chadha, a 20-year old pro from India, clinched the title with a total score of 12-under 276 and bagged Rs 646,600.
"I´m feeling good. I played really well in the tournament," said Chadha after claiming the title. "Home boy (Shiva Ram Shrestha) played well, senior pro Vijay Kumar also gave good challenge on the back nine. I played really well. I can´t ask more," he added.
Shrestha was one among the three overnight leaders with a total score of 8-under 208 but the Nepali pro faltered to 1-over 73 on the final day on Saturday.
Chadha, who shared the lead with Shrestha and Vijay Kumar after the completion of the third round, remained focused to shoot 4-under on the final day.
Abhijit Singh Chadha
Vijay Kumar completed the final round on even par 72 for a total score of 8-under 280 to claim the runner-up prize of Rs 446,600.
Shrestha shared the third place with Indian golfer Mukesh Kumar. Mukesh Kumar was two strokes behind Shrestha before the final round was teed off. Mukesh Kumar carded 1-under 71 on Saturday to catch up Shrestha, who shot 1-over 73 on the final round. Shrestha and Mukesh Kumar earned Rs 226,600 each.
"I suffered because of poor putting today (on Saturday). I had thought of giving tough challenge but it couldn´t happen," said Shrestha. "I was contesting for the second spot on the last hole but I shot into a protected area and then bunker to bunker. It was a bad day," he summarized.
Playing on the leader group, Chadha went 3 strokes ahead of Shrestha and five strokes ahead of Vijay Kumar after the completion of front nine. Chadha shot birdies on the first hole, the seventh and the ninth holes saving par on the rest of the holes. Shrestha finished front nine on even par 36 as he shot a birdie on the third hole against a bogey on the sixth hole. Front nine was terrible for Vijay Kumar as he shot bogeys on the second, fourth, fifth and the eighth holes. He shot birdies on the seventh and the ninth holes to minimize damage.
Chadha and Vijay Kumar started the back nine with consecutive birdies on the 10th and the 11th holes while Shrestha suffered bogey on the 10th and saved par on the 11th. Chadha suffered bogey on the 13th hole, where Vijay Kumar earned a birdie and Shrestha saved par. On the fourteenth they all shot birdie but Chadha suffered bogey on the 15th hole while two others saved par.
Chadha´s lead over Vijay Kumar widened as the later suffered consecutive bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes and the former shot birdie on the 17th. Shrestha also took the advantage of Vijay Kumar´s suffering and caught up to the Indian after saving pars on the 16th and 17th holes.
Chadha was 5 strokes ahead of Vijay Kumar and Shrestha before playing the 18th hole.
He enjoyed the lead and won the title despite suffering bogey on the last hole, where Vijay Kumar saved par. On the other hand, Shrestha shot on the bunker and failed to clear it on the next shot. After suffering bogey on the last hole Shrestha had to share the third position with Mukesh Kumar, who completed front nine on 1-over 37 and back nine on 2-under 34.
Deepak Thapa Magar, the winner of the 2007 edition, is the only Nepali golfer to win the Surya Masters title in tournament history.
Only amateur to make cut was Tashi Tsering. Tsering completed the tournament on a total score of 8-over 296 to share 25th position.
Chief Secretary of Nepal Government Madhav Prasad Ghimire gave away the trophy and cash prizes to the winners.
Ghale wins Himalayan Bank Golf
KATHMANDU: Daman Bahadur Ghale won the men´s title of the Second Himalayan Bank Golf Tournament played on stable ford ¾ handicap formats at the Army Officers´ Golf Course on Saturday. Basanta Gurung finished the tournament as runner-up. Kesang Lama has won the ladies´ title of the tournament on Friday.
Nischaya Jung Rayamajhi won the best gross title while BB Thapa clinched the title in senior section. Gautam Sayami receives the closest to the pin award while Subodh Thapa got the award for the longest drive.
Wangchen Dhundup became the guest winner of the tournament. Himalayan Bank President Manoj Shrestha and CEO Ashok Rana handed over awards to the winners.