LAHORE: Shabbir Iqbal of Islamabad, the top ranked golf professional of the country, managed to assert his authority and emerge as the outstanding one after conclusion of the third round of the three rounds, 54 holes, Punjab Open Golf Championship at Defence Raya Club Golf Course here Sunday. The event was sponsored by Defense Housing Authority (DHA), Toyota Garden Motors and Changhang Ruba. From the ultimate winner’s angle, the expected tussle for supremacy did not gather momentum and Shabbir had a nice comfortable 18 holes golfing walk to the winner’s rostrum without being challenged either by Hamza Amin or Anser Mehmood or even his rival of almost fifteen years Mohammad Munir.
All Shabbir had to do was to play regulation golf without feeling necessity of taking risks either in shot making or opting for bold putting on the greens. With the help of text book accuracy in shot making, however, Shabbir was all focused on recording pars and once in a while when he came across a bogey it was immediately taken care of through a neutralizing birdie. His final round score comprised of two birdies, thirteen pars and three bogies and a final round score of gross 73 and a three days aggregate of 212, four under par. And with this score he had a four-stroke edge over the two competitors Munir (Islamabad) and Khalid Khan (Peshawar).
As for Munir and Khalid, there were adequate twists and turns and all through the final round visible was the tussle for supremacy for the second position. Munir ended the final day with a round of 70 and an aggregate of 216, and Khalid also ended the day at an aggregate score of 216, helped by a final day score of 68. Thus these two had the consolation of sharing the second slot. The young one Hamza Amin faulted on two holes in the course of the final round and that spoiled his chances of total success and he barely managed the third slot which he shared with Anser Mehmood of Islamabad. Hamza and Anser ended the championship with an aggregate score of 217.
The top ten positions in professional section were achieved by Shabbir Iqbal (Islamabad), Munir (Islamabad), Khalid (Peshawar), Hamza (Islamabad), Anser (Islamabad), M Alam (Defence Raya), M Safdar Khan (Gujranwala), Shahid Javed Khan (Gymkhana), Talib Hussain (CDA), Sajid Khan (Islamabad), Munir (Islamabad), Shahid Javed Khan (Royal Palm), Mohammad Siddique (Faisalabad), Waheed Baloch. Total prize money of Rs two million was distributed amongst the top 40 professionals. In the contest for top positions in the amateur section, Ashiq Husain won the first gross with a score of 222. Zohaib Asif came second. His score for the three rounds was 225. Ghazanfar Mehmood of Garden City Golf Club was third, his score being 225. But he lost to Zohaib as the score of Zohaib in the last round was better.
Ghazala Yasmin of Garrison Golf Club won the women’s title for the third consecutive year. The net section winner was Suneya Osama of Garrison Golf Club. The senior professional section winner was Imdad Hussain of Pakistan Railways. Javed Inayat of Karachi came second. The senior amateur gross section winner was Mian Nusrat Waseem. Colonel Saud of Peshawar came second. The junior professional section winner was Minhaj Maqsood of Rawalpindi. Asad Khan of PAF came second. Prizes were awarded to the top performers by Lt Gen Sadiq Ali, Corps Commander Lahore.