Peshawar: Matloob Ahmad of Lahore Gymkhana held first day leader Waheed Baloch of Karachi Gymkhana by sharing top position at gross score eight under par 136 over 36 holes of the 54-hole Air Marshal Nur Khan Memorial Open Golf Championship being played here at lush green 6666-yard PAF Golf Course on Tuesday.
However, second day leader Matloob and first day leader Waheed tied at eight under 136 but the former has a slight edge of being the best last day round. International golfer M. Munir of Islamabad Golf Club, slipped to third overall from second on the first day despite his two under 70 rounds. Munir had five under par 67 on the first day.
“I have better putts which clearly evident from my card wherein I scored birdies at hole no. 2, 4, 6, 12, 17 and 18 and despite my double bogy at hole no 13, par 4 I managed my score accordingly besides missing a stroke at hole no. 8 and 10,” Matloob Ahmad said.
“The course has been well maintained but today the pin placing was more difficult as of on the first day and certainly when playing in the top flight on the last day the pin placing will be at the edge, that would give a tough time to the golfer,” Matloob added.
Matloob added 68, to his overnight 68 by setting an aggregated total of 136, with 34 each at front nine and back nine, followed by Waheed who added a par 72 to his overnight course record score eight under par 64. Waheed carded 35, one under at front nine and, 37 at back nine with birdies at 6, 8 and 17 and missed a stroke at 1, 3, 15 and hole no. 18.
M. Munir added 70, two under par, to his overnight 67, five under par, by struggling at 137, seven under par over 36 holes. Munir made 35, one under at front nine and the same at back nine with two birdies and a single bogy at hole no. 4.
Afsar Ali of Karachi Gymkhana carded 140, four under par, with 37, one over par, at front nine and 33, three under par, at back nine. Afsar scored four bogies and six birdies. M. Akram jumped from behind to reach to overall fifth position with his gross score 69, three under par, with 33, three under at front and 36, par at back nine. Third and fourth positions holders M. Asif and Raja M. Israr slipped to ninth and 14 place.
“Golf is game of calculation and one has to calculate his round hole-to-hole besides keeping full concentration if want to be among top positions holders,” Raja M. Israr said. “I made only two birdies and did a double bogy at hole no. 8 par 4 with missing a stroke on hole no. 9 and 16.” “We are enjoying while playing in Peshawar and certainly the new induction of the Championship in the country’s golfing calendar named after legendry Air Marshal Nur Khan who rendered great services for the promotion of sports in Pakistan,” Shabir Iqbal said in post-match talks. Pakistan No. 1 Shabir Iqbal was struggling at 13th, said: “I had a finger injury and did not have much practice but due to the respect to the players and dedication and commitment shown by organizers, I compelled to visit here.”
Zubair Sethi (142), M. Asif, Sajjad Khan, Raja M. Israr (142), Wisal Khan, M. Ashfaq (PAF), Shahid Javed, Shabir Iqbal, M. Asif (143), Ashir Masih and Amjad Khan (144) were the other prominent scorers.