Punjab Amateur Golf tees off today

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The 30th Punjab Amateur Golf Championship returns to the golf calendar after a gap of five year and will now tee off today (Friday) here at the Lahore Gymkhana’s properly manicured course. Lack of sponsorship kept the Pakistan Golf Federation from holding Punjab championship regularly but when the PGF approached Al Baraka Bank, its president Shafqaat Ahmed straightaway agreed to sponsor the event. Addressing a press conference here at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Arena Tournament Director Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed said that such tournaments provide back-up to Pakistan golf. “Some of the amateur golfers, when excel in events like Punjab Championship, follow the game and turn pros,” he said.
Khawaja Imran Zubair, Convenor Golf, Shafqaat Ahmed, President Al Baraka Bank and Amer Mehmood, Captain Golf Lahore Gymkhana were also present in the press conference. Amer Mehmood said it was one of the highest ranking tournaments and was gong to be played at the oldest golf course of the country having 72 under par course with 18 holes. “Despite the dengue outbreak, golfers from Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi and several other cities have registered for participation and the event was possible due to Al Baraka Bank,” he added. Shafqaat expressed pleasure in sponsoring the event and promised to support one golf event regularly in a year. “No one approached us before and when they did we accepted the deal of sponsoring the tournament. I feel it’s an honour to help organise a sports event,” he said. He also gave details of his bank which has branches over three continents of the world and felt that supporting golf as its corporate responsibility.
Khawaja Imran hoped that with the help of the bank things will improve and expressed his desire to revive the Namora Cup once again like the Punjab Championship and also sought government’s help in their invitation of foreign golfers. The championship which will be played over the next three days will have a total of 82 amateurs, 33 seniors, 22 veterans, 8 boys and 7 ladies. “As the championship is based on gross score for determining the winner of the title, the single handicappers are the ones likely to attain top positions. Going by this criteria the contenders likely to make an impact and appear as good challengers are: Waseem Rana, Karachi; Mubraiz Ahmed Karachi; Muhammad Rehman, Royal Palm; Sameer Iftikhar Gymkhana; Omer Salamat Gymkhana; Khalid Mehmood Rawalpindi; Wazir Ali Gymkhana; Mohsen Zafar Gymkhana; Mahad Zafar Gymkhana; Salman Jehangir Gymkhana; Col. Asif Mehdi Garrison; K. Shoaib Bokhari Gymkhana; Amer Mehmood Gymkhana; M. Sardar Murad Khan Gymkhana; Mohsin Anwar Gymkhana,” said Kh Pervaiz.
“The last Punjab Amateur Championship was held in the year 2006 and the winner was Shoaib Bokhari. He is a competitor in this championship too and looks forward to defend his title. In the past, the prominent names who have won this title are Danyaal Jehangir, Omair Javed, Taimur Hussain, and Amin Ullah Chaudhary,” he added.