LAHORE: The competitive proceedings of the 2nd Chairman WAPDA Amateur Golf Championship went into top gear at the Gymkhana Golf Course on Friday, after the Chairman WAPDA, Lt. Gen (r) Muzzamil Hussain hit a powerful and accuracy oriented tee shot to start the golfing activity for the day.
As per tradition, this opening shot is hit as caddies lie in wait to get hold of the ball hit by the guest of honour and the successful one is adequately compensated. And in this case, the tallest caddie M.Shahzad ,over six feet in height managed to retrieve the golf ball hit by the Chairman and was rewarded.
Being a major contributor for development of sports, WAPDA has been strengthening its representation on golf front of Pakistan. This tournament is a step in this regard. The Chairman congratulated his team for successfully organizing the tournament. Dilating upon the performance of WAPDA sports persons in national and international levels, the Chairman said that WAPDA won 148 medals in the National Games , Peshawar. Most importantly, WAPDA sports persons alone won 19 gold medals for Pakistan in the South Asian Games, held in Nepal.
As regards the championship itself, Friday was the first day for the participating amateurs who had converged to Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course from all over the country. And at the completion of the first round in this three rounds championship for the amateurs, Qasim Ali Khan of the host club played a steady first round of gross 71, to set up a commanding position for himself on the leaderboard. In the face of enormous challenge offered by 70 other contestants, this proficient young golfer held control over his shotmaking, consistently producing shots that fetched him pars and birdies and in the overall aggregate, an under par score. Qasim may be the leader after 18 holes, but his nearest rival, Ghazanfar Mehmood of WAPDA also seems well placed and is merely two strokes behind him at a score of gross 73. An advantage that Ghazanfar enjoys over Qasim is that, he is a national level player with vast experience of golf competitions, so this means the start of a fierce fight in the race for top honors.
Other skillful ones also seeking success are Ayaz Saleem of Garrison at a score of gross 76, followed by Malik Arsalan(Gymkhana) at 77 and Ashiq Hussain (Multan) also at 77. A few others in line are five competitors bunched together at a score of gross 78. They are Reza Said, Ali Nadim, Nasir Irshad, Damil Ataullah and Faisal Sayid.
In the senior section, the event concluded on Friday after 36 holes. Winner of this event is Imran Ahmed, a golfer who has represented Pakistan during his younger days with enthusiasm and vigour but now as a senior continues to pursue and play the game with passion. His victory is attributable to accurate hitting and nerve free attitude. His winning score was an aggregate of 150 over 36 holes. Second position was attained by Col. (r) Asif Mehdi, a regular contestant in golf championships and one who can display champion like skills. Third position went to Tariq Mehmood of Garrison. In the net senior section net, winner is Dr Hamid Awan. Second net winner is Ahsan Ghias and Maj Gen (r)Tariq Saleem came third.