KATHMANDU, June 21: Nepal No 1 Shiva Ram Shrestha defended the title of the Surya Nepal Central Open -- the fourth event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2012/13 -- at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club Thursday.
Shrestha carded four-under 68 for a total of 16-under 272, to register a nine-stroke victory over Toran Bikram Shahi.
The total winning score of 16-under is the record score in the local professional Golf tournaments. Shahi produced the best card of the day at seven-under 65 for the total score of seven-under 281. Along with the 20th career title, Shrestha bagged Rs 88,000, while Toran received Rs 55,000.
Ramesh Nagarkoti played a round of even-par 72 to finish third at five-under 283 and earned Rs 40,700. Ram Thapa (76) and Ramesh Adhikari (69) shared the fourth position at three-under 285 and pocketed Rs 31,900 each. Deepak Neupane (74) and Umesh Nagarkoti (72) were tied for sixth at 286, while Sanjay Lama (70) and Rajan Thapa (70) shared the eighth position at one-under 287. Rabi Khadka (75) finished 10th at 288.
Shrestha, who was five strokes ahead of Ram Thapa going into the final day, played three-under 33 on the front nine and added one-under 35 on the back nine. He carded birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh before taking the turn. He then shot three straight birdies from the 10th hole before suffering bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes.
Shahi, who was tied for seventh after the third day, came back strongly to finish second. He played three-under 33 and added four-under 32 on the back nine. He carded seven birdies - second, fifth, seventh, 10th, 12th, 15th and 18th holes -- in the bogey-free round.
Tashi Tsering - who carded five-under 67 to take lead after the first round and added one-under on the second day -- won the amateur title with the total score of even-par 288. He played four-over 76 on Thursday. Bikash Bogati (72) came second at 294, while Sunil KC (76) was a distant third at 302.
Altogether 29 pros and 27 amateurs took part in the four-day tournament organized by Nepal PGA sponsored by Surya Nepal Pvt Ltd. Nepal PGA President Rabindra Man Shrestha, Brand Manager of Surya Nepal Keshav Pradhan, General Secretary of Nepal Golf Association Tashi Ghale and advisor of Nepal PGA Ghanashyam Thapa gave away prizes to the winners.