Surya Nepal NPGA Match Play begins

KATHMANDU, December 27.  Defending champion Dinesh Prajapati, top seeded Bhuvan Nagarkoti, Rame Magar, Bhuwan Kumar Rokka, Rabi Khadka, Sanjay Lama, Jayram Shrestha and Pradip Kumar Lama advanced to the quarter-finals of the Surya Nepal NPGA Match Play at the Royal Nepal Golf Club on Wednesday.

Dinesh Prajapati defeated Toran Bikram Shahi on the final hole of the secod event under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2023-24, while No 2 pro Bhuvan beat Ram Krishna Shrestha 5&4. No 9 Bhuwan Kumar Rokka defeated No 8 Dhana Bahadur Thapa on the final hole.

Fourth seeded Jayram Shrestha was the biggest winner of the day as he outplayed No 13 Deepak Magar 7&6. No 5 Sanjay Lama beat No 12 Shivaram Poudel 5&3, while No 6 Rabi Khadka outplayed No 11 Ramesh Adhikari 3&2. Likewise, No 7 Rame Magar defeated No 10 Surya Prasad Sharma 4&3 and No 15 Pradip Kumar Lama upset second-seeded Niraj Tamang on the final hole.

On Thursday, Bhuvan Nagarkoti will play againt Bhuwan Kumar Rokka; Jayram will take on Sanjay; Rabi will face Dinesh; and Rame will take on Pradip in the quarter-final matches . The semi-final matches will also be played on Thursday.

Top 16 professional golfers in the Surya Nepal Golf Tour 2022-23 Order of Merit are eligible to participate in the tournament. As four pros in top 16 have opted out of the tournament, players up to ranking 20 have been included for the first round.

Nepal No 1 Sukra Bahadur Rai, 14th ranked Tanka Bahadur Karki, 15th ranked Bal Bhadra Rai and 16th ranked Kamal Tamang have pulled out citing personal reasons. No 17 Deepak Magar, No 18 Toran Bikram Shahi, No 19 Pradeep Kumar Lama and No 20 Ram Krishna Shrestha made it to the draw.

First round, quarter-finals, semi-finals and third-place matches will be played over 18 holes, while the final match will be played over 36 holes on Saturday. The tournament carries a cash purse of Rs 250,000. Eight pros who face defeats in the first round will get Rs 6,000 each, while four losing quarter-finalists will earn Rs 11,000 each. Winner of the tournament will receive Rs 60,000, while the runner-up will earn Rs 42,000. Third and fourth placed pros will get Rs 32,000 and Rs 24,000 respectively.