6th J.A.Zaman Open Golf: Commences 21st February 2019

6th J.A.Zaman Open Golf
Photo: File

LAHORE: The month of February is a particularly cheerful time for the golfing fraternity of Pakistan as in this month Lahore Gymkhana Golf Club hosts the city’s largest ranking golf tournament – The Annual J. A. Zaman Memorial Open Golf Championship.

Mr. J. A. Zaman was regarded as a supporter of sports activity and he was associated with golf at Lahore Gymkhana for over 50 years. He was known as an avid philanthropist, a successful entrepreneur, a much loved family man, a man endued with nobility and a guide to all he came across either as fellow members or golfers. This icon oozed with passion about fulfilling the needs of the less privileged ones.

The family carries forward his legacy as well as just last year the charitable Zaman Foundation allocated a special fund for the health and education of the caddies and ball boys.

Spelling out details of the Championship, Hamid Zaman Head of J. A. Zaman family,  stated that, what makes this tournament truly exceptional is that it has no corporate sponsor. This Open Golf Championship is entirely a family effort given total support by the J. A. Zaman Family who ensure that this championship is held in a way that J. A. Zaman, an icon of excellence would have liked.

Shaukat Javed added that for the tournament’s 6th edition, the prize money on offer is a mouth-watering 3 Million Pak Rupees. In addition, golfers will also have a chance to win a luxury car with a hole-in-one.

Omer Zia highlighted that the foremost positive aspect of the J A Zaman Open Golf Championship is that the top golf professionals of the country are eligible to participate. As a result they get an opportunity to perform well and add to their earnings and for most of these golf professionals it is a question of basic livelihood also. Hence to them this open championship represents a challenge that amply rewards their good performance. All in all, along with the prizes, the players, the golf course, the arrangements and the quality of competition makes it a truly remarkable sporting spectacle.

There is also an event for the Junior Professionals. Age eligibility for Junior Professionals is 21 years and the prize money is Rs 225,000.

Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed provided that following tournament details:

  • Professionals and amateurs would compete over three days from 22nd Feb to 24th February.
  • Senior Professionals competition will be held on Thursday, 21st February over 18 holes.
  • Similarly senior amateurs will also compete over 18 holes on Thursday, 21st February.
  • Eligible senior amateurs must have a handicap of 14 and below.
  • There is also an event for the veterans above 70 years of age and one of the participant, Khawaja Sadiq Hassan falls in age bracket above 90 years and appears determined to win.
  • Ladies will compete over two days on Saturday and Sunday
  • Total participation in all events is 240 which includes 100 professionals.

Senior Professionals the age criteria is 50 years and above. Most of the senior professionals taking part in this championship are players who have performed at the National level during their youthful days. Prize Money allocated for them is Rs 350,000.

Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed also said that Prominent professionals in order of their national ranking are:

  1. Shabbir Iqbal (Islamabad)
  2. Matloob Ahmad (Islamabad)
  3. Muhammad Munir (Islamabad)
  4. Shahid Javed Khan (Gymkhana)
  5. Waheed Baloch (Karachi)
  6. Shafiq Masih (Gymkhana)
  7. Hamza Amin (Islamabad)
  8. Muhammad Ashfaq (Airmen Golf Club, Karachi)
  9. Talib Hussain (Islamabad)
  10. Muhammad Asif (Raya)

Notable amongst the amateurs participating in this championship are:

  1. Ghazanfar Mahmood (Garden City)
  2. Raja M. Israr (Garden City)
  3. Khalid Mahmood (Rawalpindi)
  4. Moin Tariq (PAF Base Rafiqui)
  5. Hussain Hamid (Royal Palm)
  6. Fakhar Imam (Defence Raya)

The prominent amateurs are:

  1. Muhammad Saqib (Garrison)
  2. Damil Atta Ullah (Garrison)
  3. Col. Rustam Chatha (Garrison)
  4. Ahsan Khawaja (Gymkhana)
  5. Qasim Ali Khan (Gymkhana)
  6. Imran Ahmed (Gymkhana)
  7. Morad A. Khan (Gymkhana)
  8. Salman Jehangir (Gymkhana)
  9. Mohsen Zafar (Gymkhana)

Interestingly, Shabbir Iqbal has the honour of winning this title four times, only Matloob Ahmad won it in 2015.

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