The title bearing 37th Punjab Open Golf Championship will tee off on 21st March (Wednesday) at the elaborate and ideal golf arena of Pakistan, the Defence Raya Golf and Country Club Golf Course, in Lahore. This was stated by Mr. Sikander Hayat, Secretary, Defence Raya in a briefing at the Defence Raya Golf Club.
As for the playing arena, it is all ready to test the skills of the competing golfers with course length now at 6758 yards from the blue tees. From the black championship markers the distance becomes 7165 and even for the top ranked champions the course is likely to present an exacting examination that requires meticulous shot placing accuracy due to the demanding fairways. The infrastructure is top class and the organizing team at Defence Raya Golf Club are expectant that exceptional quality golf will be witnessed during the days the professionals and amateurs are in the run.
Spelling out other details of the Punjab Open Golf Championship, Mr. Sikander Hayat highlighted that:
- The championship is supported and endorsed by Muslim Commercial Bank, Allied Bank, Askari Bank and DHA
- The championship will be contested over five days.
- The first two days, Wednesday and Thursday are earmarked for Ladies,who compete over 36 holes and on Thursday(22nd March) the Senior professionals, over 50 years of age, the junior professionals, less than 23 years of age and the senior amateurs, over 55 years of age will fight it out for a much sought after place amongst the top performers.
From Friday (23rd March) the championship will be:
- Taken over by the professional golfers of Pakistan who will become a part of the prestigious encounter for lucrative prize money of Rupees Two Million.
- The professionals competition will be over three days, Friday to Sunday.
- Along with the professionals, there will also be the leading amateurs and while professional golfers participate for prize money and financial stakes, the amateurs only seek honours.
- In addition, to the prize money of Rupees Two Million for professionals, 0.3 million for senior professionals, 0.2 million for junior professionals.
- The major attraction is the Honda Br-V for a hole in one offered by HONDA.
- One more hole in one offer is by Turkish Airlines and the hole in one achiever will get a ticket to Europe.
The secretary also made it clear that top 100 professional golfers belonging to almost all golf courses of the country have reached Defence Raya Golf and Country Club, for a shot at the Punjab Open title 2018 and also try and successfully dip into the cash laden purse of Rupees Two Million.
Mohammed Shabbir the top ranked professional of our national golf circuit is a champion whose consistency is almost automatic. He wins tournaments in unruffled fashion and having him as a participant in this Punjab Open is distressing news even for players like M. Munir, Matloob Ahmed, Shahid Javed Khan and Waheed Baloch.
In this part of the country, although Matloob remains a popular choice of many golf lovers, as his past record is enough to intimidate many hopefuls. In fact, just two months back in Karachi, he demonstrated tremendous flair and devastating powers of recovery to emerge as the winner of the title and huge prize money.
For the past two days, M. Munir, an accomplished one of Pakistan Golf, has been practicing at the Defence Raya Golf Course, improving familiarity with the fairways and getting adjusted to the feel of the greens. M. Munir says, “It is not preparation that is so important, it is the right preparation”. Whispers about M. Munir suggest that he is not going to be easy to beat, although even after the lapse of one year he is furious with himself for having been unable to emerge as the top one in major championships in last twelve months.
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