The inaugural Defence Raya Open Professional Golf Championship 2021 endorsed and ratified by DHA Lahore and BRDB, pedals into the final phase after three rounds stand concluded.
At the end of the third round (54 holes) on Sunday, the highly illustrious, foremost and paramount golf professional of Pakistan, Shabbir Iqbal is again in a position to domineer and prevail over his fellow competitors in this grand golf championship that carries a prize money package of five million rupees.
Shabbir’s forcefulness and mightiness can be gauged from the fact that professional golfers of stature and prominence like M. Munir, Matloob Ahmed, M. Tariq and Ahmed Baig stand outrivaled and minimized before his golfing luminosity.
As the championship stands right now on the verge of conclusion, Shabbir Iqbal (Islamabad) is in the lead with three rounds scores of 70, 67 and 70 and an aggregate total of gross 207, nine under par and his nearest combatant Talat Ijaz of Lahore Gymkhana is placed at a three rounds aggregate score of 213, six strokes behind the leader. At an aggregate score of 215 is M. Shahzad of Lahore Garrison and at 217 is Aadil Jehangir (PAF Skyview).
In the third round on Sunday at the Defence Raya Golf Course, Shabbir Iqbal remained incessant, relentless and unyielding and depended on his formidable power and accuracy loaded 300 yards plus tee shots on the fourteen par fours and par five holes. He facilitated unruffled approach shots to the green and while on the greens his putter was at his beck and call, faithful and dutiful and not once did any lapse occur. Score wise he had six birdies, nine pars, two bogies and one double bogie in his third round of gross 70.
Out of the other participating aspirants, Talat Ijaz (Lahore Gymkhana) had a wonderful day on Sunday and came up with the best score of the third round, a gross 67 and that hoisted his position to number two on the leaderboard. His distinctive play helped him to score six birdies on holes 2, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 17, eleven regulation pars and the only stroke loss was on the 14th hole.
Another one who played outstanding golf was M.Shahzad of Lahore Garrison. Considered a strenuous golf professional he spends hours and hours on the driving range to fine tune his golfing abilities and now through this championship he gets a chance to sparkle and glow. His round of gross 68 on Sunday was classy and with a three days aggregate score of 215, he is placed third on the leaderboard. In the final round on Monday he will be a part of the final leaders flight and under the spotlight. And while he competes with Shabbir, there will many lessons to learn through this experience.
In the third round yesterday Aadil Jehangir made a purposeful effort but putting hiccups on two holes let him down. With a third round score of 74, he has a three days aggregate of 217 and is placed fourth.
Other notable ones in line for good prize money are Ashiq Hussain (Multan) at 219, M. Alam (PAF ) at 221, M. Munir (Rawalpindi) also at 221, and M. Naqas (Islamabad), Matloob Ahmed(Garrison), Wisal Khan (Peshawar) and Taimoor Khan (Peshawar) all four at 222.
The Junior professionals went through their first round on Sunday and after the first round M. Saqib (Garrison) is the leader with a score of gross 75. In second position is Nabeel Khan of Airmen Golf Club and his score is gross 81.