Kathmandu, Nepal (January 5): Subash Tamang’s reputation and world ranking continued to soar while temperatures plummeted at the eighth edition of the Faldo Series Nepal Championship.
Nepal’s first South Asian Games individual golfing gold medallist, the 17-year-old defied miserable weather conditions en route to a runaway victory in the 11th event of the 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season.
So cold, wet and windswept were several of the contestants that they were unable to complete their final rounds. Battered and bruised they retired to the sanctuary of the clubhouse at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort.
Subash was not among them. Having grown up in a hut with his poverty-stricken family in a remote part of Lalitpur district, Subash is made of stern stuff.
Once more he displayed his mettle and resolve at Gokarna Forest, posting a closing 70 to go with earlier scores of 69 and 66. His 11-under 205 aggregate was 16 strokes clear of his closest challenger, ensuring he started the New Year in the same manner as he ended 2019 – in winning style.
“It was hard to focus in this cold weather. It was probably the coldest day for more than a year, but I managed to put my round together,” said Subash, whose South Asia Games triumph last month catapulted him to national stardom and into the top-700 in The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
It’s also fuelled his motivation to earn a decent living from the game in order to support his parents and younger brother. “My goal is to keep working hard and playing well,” added Subash, who can now look forward to a return trip to Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô in March, for the 14th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
Competing in the Boys’ Under-16 category at Laguna Lăng Cô last year, Subash tied for 14th in his age group. Improving on that effort will be his target this year when he’ll be joined in Vietnam by Kashmira Shah and Sadghav Acharya.
While Shah proved too strong for her rivals in the girls’ category at Gokarna Forest, Acharya overturned a five-stroke overnight deficit to overhaul Ritesh Tamang among the Boys’ Under-16s.
The 13-year-old Acharya even had the distinction of outscoring Subash in the final round, his commendable 68 including six birdies and a solitary blemish, a double-bogey seven at the long 15th.
The 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as a series of qualifiers in Thailand, the FSA schedule includes two events in China and championships in Australia, Bangladesh, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past champions include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, both multiple Major winners, while recent LPGA Tour winners include Thidapa Suwannapura (2010 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Girls’ champion) and Nasa Hataoka (2016 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final Girls’ champion) who claimed her third LPGA Tour title last March.
Faldo Series Nepal Championship, leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 205 – Subash Tamang (69-66-70). 230 – Abhirajsinh S. Chauhan (76-76-78). 260 – Sudeep Tamang (87-85-88). 272 – Shreeyog Basnyat (89-89-94). Boys’ Under-16: 221 – Sadghav Acharya (78-75-68). 226 – Ritesh Tamang (75-73-78). 264 – Shashwot Pradhan (90-95-79). 275 – Kishan Pariyar (97-85-93). Girls’ Under-21: 248 – Kashmira Shah (85-77-86). 272 – Prativa Rai (93-91-88). 276 – Rabina Shrestha (93-87-96).