Subhash Tamang becomes first player from Nepal to win All India amateur golf championships

Subhash Tamang became the first golfer from Nepal to win the prestigious All India Amateur Championships run by the Indian Golf Union.

Subhash Tamang became the first golfer from Nepal to win the prestigious All India Amateur Championships run by the Indian Golf Union.

Tamang, 21, beat Rohit of India 9&7 to win the 122nd edition of the tournament at the iconic Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

The 21-year-old Tamang, and Rohit were neck-and-neckfor the first 15 holes. Then Tamang pulled away to 3-up after 18 holes. In the second session Tamang was even better and won the match as he was nine holes ahead with seven holes left.

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“It is the happiest moment of my life,” said the shy Tamang, who came over to India in 2022 to hone his skills under an India pro, Tarun Sardesai at his academy near Bengaluru.

Tamang’s performances earned him starts at the prestigious Asia Pacific Amateur Championships and other internationals, but this is his biggest win.

Tamang was first spotted by Tashi Ghale, a Nepalese businessman and the President of Nepal Golf Association. Ghale took him to Deepak Acharya, the Director of Operations, and a teaching professional at Gokarna Golf Club, where Tamang trained and played.

Then at the start of 2022, Ghale and Acharya helped Tamang to get to India and train with Sardesai, who now trains the Nepal team.

Tamang’s best world rank has been 105th but he was ranked 153rd at the start of the week. Now this latest win could once again bring him closer to career-best rank.

The flagship event of the IGU, the All-India Amateur Championships began with a 36-hole stroke play event to narrow the field down to 32 for the Matchplay section.

Tamang was fourth in the 36-hole stroke play at the start of the week, he made his way through numerous rivals to reach the final. His toughest match came in the first round, when he was taken to extra holes and won on the 19th hole against Kanav Chauhan.

Then he beat Vishesh Sharma in the pre-quarter finals and Dhruv Suri in the quarter finals by similar margins of 4&3. In the semi-finals, he again got good in crucial stages and beat the top seed Altin Van der Merwe of South Africa 3&1.

In the final, Subhash set the tone winning the first hole, but Rohit hit back on the second and the duo halved the next five holes to be all square after seven. The next move came from Rohit, who won the eighth and halved the ninth. So, after nine holes in the 36-hole match, it was Rohit, who held a slender lead at 1-up.

Subhash restored parity on the 10th and then on the 13th Subhash registered a birdie to go one up for the first time since the first hole. However, Rohit hit back with a birdie of his own in the match that was tight and tense till then.

That’s when Subhash made the big move, which would prove decisive in the match. He won three of the next four holes. He took the 15th, 16th, and 18th holes to be 3-up at the halfway stage of the match.

Subhash had the momentum, but Rohit did well to reduce the margin to two on. the 20th. Subhash got that back immediately on the 21st and added another gain on the 22nd to go 4-up.

The Nepal stalwart then won three holes in a row from the 24th and when he walked off the green on the 26th hole, he was 7-up with nine holes to go. He stretched that to 8-up on the 28th. It was all over for Rohit would need to win the remaining eight holes and Subhash was on song with every aspect of his game, and more so his putting.

As the players halved the 29th hole, the match was over 9&7 in Tamang’s favour.

Earlier in the stroke play team event, South Africa emerged winners with Altin Van Der Merwe and Jordan Clay Burnand leading the charge. The two South Africans lost out in the semi-finals, as Tamang beat Van der Merwe and Rohit eliminated Burnand.

India A with Sandeep Yadav and Rohit were second at 294 and India B comprising Vinamra Anand and Shaurya Bhattacharya were third at 295.

The All-India Amateur Championships is India’s oldest golf tournament having started in 1892. The Championships were not held during the two World Wars and was cancelled once in 2020 due to Covid.

(IANS)

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