LAHORE (Pakistan): The events for professional golf players concluded after three rounds in the 1st President PGA Open Golf Championship at the fascinatingly exquisite Par-72 Pakistan Air Force Skyview Golf and Country Club Golf Course here on Wednesday.
This title event was a competition for the most eligible 100 top golf champions of the country and in accordance with its importance, the golf arena was prepared exceedingly well to meet required standards, by Air Cdre Imran Pervaiz, Sqn Ldr Muhammed Faizan and their team.
While the professional events have ended, the next three days are reserved for amateurs and senior amateurs.
Over the past three days in this championship too, 100 top professionals from all over country participated and after two rounds, 46 were eliminated and based on commendable performance, only 54 were selected to play the deciding round on Wednesday, throughout which the spotlight was on the 200 titles winner Muhammed Shabbir Iqbal of Islamabad Golf Club and robust and exceptionally potent champion in the making, Muhammed Shahzad of Lahore Garrison Greens Golf Club.
Based on his phenomenal competing capabilities, the pundits considered Shabbir the likely winner but as the final round teed off, there was a noticeable display of excellence by both combatants. While Shabbir played flawless shots and an all round game, equally unblemished and outstandingly pristine was Muhammed Shahzad.
Shabbir’s card for the day was a stunning 66 and Shahzad ended the 18 holes with a marvellous 67. That enabled Shabbir to conclude three days of golfing with scores of 71,69 and 66 and a championship aggregate of 206, ten under par. And as luck would have it, his challenger Mohammad Shahzad also ended with scores of 68,71 and 67 and an aggregate of 206, ten under par.
With level scores, while others watched eagerly, these rivals went into a sudden death playoff to decide the winner, which produced an unsurpassed matching of playing ability. First hole of the sudden death play off was level, as were the second, third and fourth holes and tension went soaring. Finally it was at the fifth hole that Shahzad acquired ascendancy with a masterful approach shot that fetched Shahzad a birdie while Shabbir had to be content with a bogey.
A memorable moment of success for Mohammad Shahzad and the first one to embrace him was Col Rustam Chattha, his mentor and playing mate during practice sessions at Lahore Garrison. Cheers went up as did a huge round of handshakes and Shahzad started to look like a golfing hero.
As for the other contenders seeking positions other than the first and second, M.Naeem of Peshawar came third. His score for the championship was 211, five under par. Following him other performers were Waheed Baloch (Karachi) 214, Rehmatullah (DHA) 215, Muhammed Asif (Defence Raya ) 215, Muhammed Minhaj Maqsood (Rawalpindi )216, Muhammed Zubair (Karachi) 216 and Abdul Zahur (Multan) 216. They are the top ten position holders in this 1st President PGA Open Golf Event for golf professionals.
Results of Senior Professional Event and Junior Professional Event.
M.Akram (Gymkhana )first with a score of 148; Nisar Hussain (PAF )second, M.Tariq (Islamabad) third, Muhammed Akhter (Islamabad) fourth, S/Lt Tariq Mehmood, fifth and Col Rustam Ali Chattha, sixth.
In the Junior Professional Category, the best junior of the event was Rehan Babar of Lahore Garrison. Runner up junior was Ashass Ahmed of Karachi Airmen Golf Club and Abid Iqbal of Gymkhana was third.
Subsequent to the conclusion of the Professionals Events, cash prizes were awarded to the top three players in Professional Section, Senior Professional Section and Junior Professional Section. Prizes were awarded by Brig Ayyaz Masood Khan (Retd), Secretary of Punjab Golf and Air Cdre Imran Pervaiz, Tournament Director in the presence of Kashif Bhatti and M.Zakir of Punjab Golf Association and golf professionals. ‑APP