Lama, Khadka among others itching for titleAs the biggest tournament on country’s domestic golf circuit, the Surya Nepal Premier Golf Championship, is set for its first ever adventure, Sanjay Lama, Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Rabi Khadka will be among the contenders itching to brush aside Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha.
As the biggest tournament on country’s domestic golf circuit, the Surya Nepal Premier Golf Championship, is set for its first ever adventure, Sanjay Lama, Bhuwan Nagarkoti and Rabi Khadka will be among the contenders itching to brush aside Nepal No 1 pro Shivaram Shrestha.
Shrestha, one of the most decorated and successful golfers in the country, prepares for another title to his name but not before needing to clear the probable path to title tread by the trio of Nagarkoti, Lama and Khadka.
The 37-year-old Nagarkoti, who turned pro in 2001, has not won a single title this season, though he is a threat to others, and is looking to end title drought. The second ranked pro marked comeback in the game finishing second in the NPGA President’s Cup.
Despite making it to the final group in most tournaments, Nagarkoti won the first major title in 2014 lifting the Surya Nepal Western Open. He bagged his second trophy the following year winning Surya Nepal Eastern Open. But he has not been able to add another title to his cabinet. He has finished second to fifth in the last seven events. But this time around, he seems determined.
“I get nervous in the closing stages of a match. I am trying my best to overcome that problem and winning the trophy will be my sole target,” said Nagarkoti, a golf instructor at the Gokarna Golf Club.
Lama is another title contender who has been in the game for the last two decades. Lama grew up at the Royal Nepal Golf Club course and began playing amateur events from the Carlsberg Open in 2000. The Nepal No 3, who turned pro three years later, came to the limelight after winning the Surya Nepal Eastern Open in 2010. Although he has only three major titles to his name, he rarely misses the leader’s group in the final round. He blames his fate for not being able to win titles despite being in the final group.
Forty-year-old Khadka is considered one of the hard-working pro golfers of the country and this makes the No 4 a prime contender for the event. Khadka entered the course as a caddy and won the caddies tournament in 2004.
He went on to complete a hat-trick of titles by winning two more caddies’ events the following two years. He also bagged the amateur section titles in the Surya Nepal Masters in 2005 and 2007. He turned pro in 2007 and has bagged 12 major titles under the Surya Nepal Golf Tour.