PESHAWAR, Feb 23 (APP):International Muhammad Shabbir bewildered fellow golfers by leading the opening day round of the professionals with his gross score six under 66 over 18 holes of the 54-holes 3rd RMI Open Golf Championship, which got under way here at PAF Golf Course on Friday.
Top golfers from across the country, former Pakistan team skipper Mehmood Aziz, are participating. The Championship carries a record Rs. 2.4 million cash prize with a total of 330 golfers including 15 top female golfers vie for the top honour.
The Championship is an annual feature carrying five different categories comprising Professional over 9 and below, Senior Pro, Junior Pro, Amateur HCP 12 below, ladies, boys’ U-15 and U-17, Veterans and Senior Amateurs. The golfers have already tried their best for hole-in-one wherein a 1000 CC Car put on display in the entrance of the golf course
On the first day, Pakistan top golfer Muhammad Shabbir carded three under 33 each at front and back nine with birdies at hole no. 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, 15 and 17 while missed a stroke over hole no. 4. Another top professional and international golfer Muhammad Munir carded five under 67 with five under 31 at front nine and 36, par, with back nine. Muhammad Munir sunk the ball at hole no. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 17 by missing a stroke at seven and 14 hole.
“I golf course is in excellent condition and the newly developed green are of international standard,” Muhammad Munir told APP. “My putting was excellent and the response of the greens were so good besides I hit all the regulation, “ Munir added.
It was perfect golf course, Muhammad Shabbir told while finishing his opening day round. “I scored seven birdies and a bogy but overall my long drives were bat better and landed all of them on the greens,” he said.
Hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and professional of PAF Golf Club Muhammad Naeem, who also remained as member of the Pakistan team, carded four under 68 with two under 34 each at front and back nine. He missed a stroke at hole no. 7 and hole no. 10 by scoring birdies at hole no. 2, 3, 4, 12, 17 and 18.
Haroon Rashid carded three under 69 with three birdies at hole no. 7, 16 and 17. He carded one under 35 at front nine holes and two under 34 at back nine by struggling overall at fourth position behind top golfers Shabbir, Munir and Naeem Khan.
The winner of the Sindh Open, Matloob Ahmad carded three under 69, laced with an Eagle at par 5 hole no. 17 besides scoring two birdies and a bogy. Matloob carded par 36 at front nine and 33, three under at back nine.
Ansar Mehmood carded three under 69 with one bogy and four birdies at hole no. 1, 8, 14 and 16. He carded two under 34 at front nine and one under 35 at back nine. Muhammad Ashfaq, Muhammad Nazir and Muhammad Arif carded two under 70 each on the opening day.
Muhammad Ashfaq carded one 35 each at front and back nine including seven birdies and a double bogey at par-3 over hole no. 6 besides missing a stroke at hole no. 16. Nazir carded 34 and 36 at front and back nine with three birdies and a missed stroke while M. Arif carded five under 31 at front nine including six birdies and 39, three over par at back nine with one birdie and four bogeys.
Amjad Yousaf (70), Tahir Naseem (70) and Safdar (70) were the other golfers played an excellent round. Amjad scored four birdies and a bogy, Tahir scored three birdies and two bogeys and Safdar made three birdies and a bogey.