LAHORE: The first round of the four rounds JA Zaman Memorial Open Golf Championship, backed by the Zaman family, was inaugurated by Hamid Zaman at the Lahore Gymkhana Club Golf Course by hitting the first shot here on Thursday. From the competitive angle, this first round was earmarked for the senior professionals, junior professionals, senior amateurs and veterans. And as for the professionals and amateurs, they will be competing over the next three days from March 9 to 11. And out of the twenty five senior professionals, who were selected to compete in this event, Muhammad Iqbal of Lahore Gymkhana played outstanding golf and ended up as the senior professionals champion with an impressive score of gross 70, two under par. Asghar Ali of Lahore Gymkhana came second. His score was gross 71 and the third slot went to Muhammad Akram (WAPDA). His score was gross 72. The junior professionals also completed their competitive outing yesterday and amongst them the winner was Usman Ali of Garrison Golf Club. His gross score was 71, one under par. The runner- up slot was occupied by three participants: Bilal Hussain of MCG, Kashif Masih of Garrison Club and Amir Khan of Peshawar. These three were bracketed at a score of gross 74, and as per rules, Bilal was declared second and Kashif Masih third.In the race for honours amongst the senior amateurs, Javed A Khan (Lahore Gymkhana) dominated the proceedings and through accurate hitting and smooth putting came up with a score of gross 75, thus winning the top position in the senior amateur category. The competitors who won positions other that the first were Tariq Mehmood (Garrison Club) and Rustam Piracha, also of Garrison Club. Tariq came second with a gross score of 76 and Rustam came third and his gross score was 77. The net first position went to Qasim Qureshi (Lahore Gymkhana) his net score being 69. Muhammad Shafi (Garrison Club) picked up the second net and his net score was 72. The third net winner was Khurran Saadat. He also had a net score of 72 but because of a better score over the last nine holes, Shafi was declared second.The highlight of the day was a superb shot hit by Abdul Nafey Burki, on the par 3,4th hole. His shot was stunningly accurate. But what turned out to be more stunning was that this shot, after landing, travelled about five yards and ended up in the hole yielding a rewarding hole in one for this golfer of Lahore Gymkhana. As a result of this success, he became entitled to the hole in one car, provided no other participant succeeds in getting a hole in one over the remaining three rounds. So for the next three days he has to pray and hope no one else becomes as fortunate as him otherwise he has to share the prize. Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.