The four rounds 48th UMA Pakistan Open Golf Championship 2022 embarked on a bubbly and high spirited note. The highly accomplished professional and amateur leading golfers of Pakistan played with dynamic gusto and exuberance to come up with golfing scores that can be classified as remarkable and technically resplendent.
Formidable and superlative aspect of the first round was that out of 109 participating competitors, 12 champions came up with under par scores while four aspirants had rounds of par 71 and what is still more heartening is that 11 more are bunched together at an esteemed score of gross 72. This reflects on the playing calibre of the combatants and how exceptionally cultivated the competitive drift will be over the three rounds to come.
This battle of skills the golf professional up front is Waheed Baloch of Karachi Golf Club with a marvellous round of gross 66, five under par and by all means this represents an illustrious and acclaimed performance from this proficient and competent golf professional. Waheed Baloch owes this distinctive showing to precise shot making, authoritative control over his approach shots to the green and overweening handling of his putter as he saw all his five feet putts drop in with affability and fetched him nine birdies, though he confronted stroke losses too.
Score wise and position wise, Waheed Baloch may be feeling high and mighty yet he cannot overlook the fact that his mighty adversary Shabbir Iqbal of Islamabad, the top ranked player of the country, is placed just one stroke behind him at a score of gross 67, four under par and he is not alone at this wondrous score. Bracketed with Shabbir at gross 67 are Sajjad Khan of Islamabad and Ansar Mehmood of Margalla Greens. At the score of gross 68 lies Hamza Taimur Amin after playing superbly and applying his golfing skills with steadfastness and adherence. Looking fearsome and intimidating is the young talent of Pakistan, Ahmed Baig of PAF Skyview and finished the first round with a score of gross 69 along with two other young ones Taimoor Khan of Peshawar and Syed Bilal Hussain Shah of Margalla Greens.
These three may be trailing the leader by a margin of three strokes, yet have the capacity to turn the standings in their favor over the remaining three rounds. A few more with buoyant performances are Latif Rafiq (Gymkhana), Kamran Shafiq (Gymkhana) M. Alam (PAF Skyview) and Muhammed Amir (Karachi Golf Club). These three are placed at 70.
Omar Khalid a seventeen year old amateur of Karachi Golf Club made his mark strongly even while playing against highly skilled rivals. His score of 71 is noteworthy. Three others at a score of 71 are M. Naeem and Zeeshan Khan of Peshawar and M. Sharif of Karachi.
During the first round on Thursday ample golfing flair has been visible and as the Championship moves into the second round the distinguished ones look determined to out do each other.