During the third round of four rounds ENGRO 25th Chief of Naval Staff Open Golf Championship, in progress at the Karachi Golf Club Golf Course, Matloob Ahmed of Lahore Garrison Greens displayed overwhelming golf playing adeptness to marginally subdue the overnight leader M. Shabbir. Matloob appeared as the superior one while the hero of our national professional golf scene appears at the number two slot, a situation that golfers are not used to in Pakistan.
Matloob Ahmed a prominent and illustrious golf professional, excelled in all aspects of the game and in the process ended up dominating the flow of the championship, as the event moves into the final phase. The overnight leader M. Shabbir, the top ranked golf professional of Pakistan slipped to second slot while Matloob Ahmed an equally adept golf professional was one stroke ahead. And as proceedings gathered pace in the third round, the battle hardened Matloob Ahmed succeeded in taking command of the Championship through relentless excellence edged past the mighty and generally invincible Shabbir.
In the third round Matloob concluded the 18 holes with a score of gross 68, four under par and aggregated a total of 206, ten under par, thus gaining a one solitary stroke edge over Shabbir. Aggregate score of M. Shabbir at the end of three rounds was 207, nine under par. As the standings go, the battle is still on and in the final day of trial on Sunday, Matloob will have to come up with masterly golf to attain glory and considerable prize money in this Rs 8.5 million championship.
As against these two, the lustrous name vying for a top slot is Ahmed Baig of PAF Skyview Golf Club. This sparkling young one is hoping to emerge as a strong contender for the CNS Open Championship top slot. With a score of 72 in the first round and an improved 67 in the second round and a gross 70 yesterday, he has managed a three days aggregate of 209, seven under par. It must be mentioned that his hitting quality was top class and was duly applauded by his fans in Karachi.
Another competitor who oozed excellence was M. Munir of Rawalpindi. He came up with an amazing round of gross 67, five under par in the third round and his score for three days adds up to 210, six under par. Although he lags behind the established ones,he looks determined to charge up his game for a dominating end on the final day on Sunday.
Out of the other established combatants, Waheed Baloch of Karachi Golf Club and M. Nazir of Rawalpindi are bracketed at a three rounds aggregate of 211, five under par.
In the race for honors in amateur section, the national amateur champion of Pakistan, Omar Khalid, appears as the leader with three rounds scores of 78, 72 and 76 and three rounds aggregate of 226. Also sharing the top position with him is Arsalan Shikoh Khan of AGC. Saim Shazli (KGC), Omar Shikoh Khan (KGC) and Ayub Khan (Gujranwala) are at a score of 231.