6th J. A. Zaman Open Golf: Day 2 – Shabbir Iqbal Radiates Class
Regarded as an open golf championship of prestige and prominence, it has attracted professional golf champions from all over the country, with all of them seeking lucrative cash prizes and positions of merit during the course of the three rounds championship. Out of the 100 contestants in search for the top positions in professionals category, the one who stood out after the first 18 holes was the illustrious and virtually unassailable Shabbir Iqbal. He dominated the opening days proceedings and flow of play with phenomenal and amazing command over his shot making and this is reflected in his score of gross 65, seven under par.
No doubt Shabbir Iqbal showed excellence in hitting powerful drives off the tees and backed this up with crisp shots from the fairways and level headed and reliable putting on the greens.”I succeeded in applying myself well and as the course was a little wet in some areas, I had to handle the shot making with skill and care and the effort paid off” said Shabbir. He further said that ” Since I am the defending champion and the J.A.Zaman Open is one of my favorite tournaments, I had to show more responsibility in maintaining my control from the word ‘go’ “. In the course of the first round yesterday Shabbir had eight birdies, nine pars, and just one bogey on the 12th hole. Another outstanding feature was that he scored three successive birdies on the closing three holes, 16th, 17th and 18th.
While the effort of Shabbir carries the inspirational touch, another tenacious one who made his presence felt is Muhammed Naeem of Peshawar. This young one is still in his prime years and looks to get established as a player of talent and quality. His score in the first round was gross 70, two under par. Right now he is five strokes behind the remarkable Shabbir, yet hopes to come up with a spellbinding performance in the course of the second round on Saturday and match wits with the incomparable Shabbir.
Out of the professional aspirants, the one who injected a touch of freshness was M. Rehman of Royal Palm. A former amateur champion with notable performances, he has now joined the professional ranks and managed to surface as a competitor with impressive golf playing attributes. In his first appearance as a golf professional he has emerged convincingly and is placed in third position behind Shabbir and Naeem. Rehman’s score in the first round was 71, one under par.
Other competitors following these three are Muhammed Shahzad (Garrison), Amjad Yousaf (Karachi) and Danyaal Jehangir (Lahore Gymkhana). These three are bracketed at a score of par 72. At the score of 73 are Usman Ali (Garrison), Akber Mehroz (Gymkhana), Muhammed Akhter(Islamabad) Sajid Khan (Islamabad), Dilshad Ali (Karachi) and Waheed Baloch (Karachi).
The Senior Professionals and Senior Amateurs were still in the process of completing their rounds at the time of filing this report.
The J.A.Zaman Memorial Open Golf Championship continues at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course on Saturday.
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