Amateur golfer Karki wins NPGA Tour title

- Ritesh Rijal, Kathmandu

Apr 26, 2019-

Amateur golfer Tanka Bahadur Karki clinched the Surya Nepal NPGA Tour Championship--the eighth event of the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2018-19--at the par-72 Gokarna Golf Club on Thursday.

Karki capitalised on the absence of Nepal No 1 Shivaram Shrestha to stun the so-called elites with a four-round score of four-under 284. Shrestha in currently undergoing training in the United States. Coming into the fourth and final round with a two-stroke lead over his nearest rival Deepak Acharya, Karki never got a challenge he was looking for as the amateur sealed victory with the final round score of one-under 71 on Thursday.

Karki also became the fifth amateur to have won the professional tournament in domestic circuit. Before Karki, Shivaram Shrestha won the Surya Nepal Western Open in 2005, Rupak Acharya claimed Surya Nepal Central Open in 2010, Sukra Bahadur Rai won Surya Nepal Eastern Open in 2018 and Subash Tamang claimed the Surya Nepal Challenge this season.

Remarkably four of the top seven positions were occupied by amateurs including Subash Tamang, Bipin Tamang and Rahul BK. Acharya, the former Nepal No 1, dropped to joint fourth after carding six-over 78 on Thursday. Sanjay Lama produced the best card of the day, his four-under 68 was good enough to lift himself into overall second position at one-under 287. As Karki was not entitled to take cash prize being an amateur, the top prize of Rs 120,000 went to Lama. Karki lifted both the pro and amateur trophies.

Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Dinesh Prajapati finished tied on second among the pros with the total score of three-over 291. Nagarkoti carded two-over 74 and Prajapati shot three-over 75 to share Rs 66,000 each. Subash Tamang ended up as runner-up among the amateurs at four-over 292 on countback after being tied with Bipin Tamang. Subash shot three-under 69 and Bipin carded one-over 73 on Thursday. Another amateur BK finished behind the Tamang duo at 293 after carding two-under 70 on Thursday.

Suman Rai (71), Deepak Magar (71), and Deepak Acharya (78) were tied for fourth among the pros at five-over 293. All three pros received Rs 37,000 each. Rabi Khadka ended up in seventh among the pros at eight-over 296 and earned Rs 30,000. Bikash Adhikari and Jayaram Shrestha finished tied for eighth at nine-over 297. Both got Rs 27,000. Surya Prasad Sharma, Rame Magar and Shiva Kumar Majhi finished in a group of three tied for 10th at 10-over 298 and earned Rs 24,000 each.

Karki started the final round from the 10th hole and shot even-par 36 on the first half with birdies on 14th and 18th against bogeys on 11th and 12th hole. On the latter half, Karki sank birdies on the third, sixth and ninth against bogeys on the fifth and eighth holes. Lama also starting from 10th hole and had a good run in on the first half making birdies on 11th, 12th and 15th for a three-under 33 card. On the second half, Lama sank a birdie on the fourth and saved pars on the remaining holes for one-under 35 return.

In all, 21 pros and six amateurs from the original field of 42 were in fray for the title in the four-day tournament.

Published: 26-04-2019 09:37

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