Matloob placed a stroke ahead of Shafiq in Quaid Golf


Matloob Ahmed of Lahore Garrison Golf Club is a seasoned campaigner and for over a decade has been in the forefront of professional golf, in Pakistan, and now at the Shezan sponsored 1st Quaid-e-Azam Open Golf Championship in progress at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course he is looking amazing as a contender going into the final phase of this championship named after the Father of the Nation.
On the second day of the competition Matloob returned a card of 70 and thereby aggregated a fantastic score of 136, eight under par for the two rounds and managed to keep his hold on the top of the leader board, a position he was sharing with Shafiq Masih a day earlier. Not that Shafiq Masih of Gymkhana has in any way slipped too far behind, in fact he is just one stroke away at a two days aggregate of 137,seven under par. The battle is on and while Matloob has experience on his side, the younger one, Shafiq looks battle-hardened and determined to launch himself with no holds barred and nerves virtually as calm as can be. And rightly it was Shafiq who said, “I ‘d love to win on my home course and that would be great. I’d also like to get further up in the national rankings and so far it has been a good year here in Pakistan and MENA Golf Tour in UAE”. As for Matloob, he said: “I’ve spent a lot of time playing at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course and I want to make my mark every time I play here. This course is my favourite and I consider it hard and fair, a true test of golf without being capricious and seldom does a tee shot well worked out and executed, lead to a bad lie or an awkward stance. With flat fairways and greens, good shots are rewarded and poor shots punished”.
Other contenders who personified consistency in hitting and putting are Amjad Yousf (Karachi) placed at an aggregate of 139,five under par and Shahid Javed Khan (Royal Palm) placed at 141 through rounds of 69 and 72. Shahid Javed eagled the par 5,16th and birdied the 17th and was unlucky to see four birdie putts lipping the hole, depriving him of a score of excellence. Contenders like Sunny John(Gymkhana) and M. Siddique are also placed at 141,followed by Waheed Baloch at 142, M Munir 142,M.Zubair at 143 and Arshad Akbar also at 143.All these contenders may be lagging a little away from the leaderboard but if things go awry amongst the top ones, these accomplished ones can crawl their way up. And as M. Sharif Janjua of Shezan and Gymkhana and the spirit behind this championship stated, “It’sgood to see Pakistani golf professionals getting better and better, as there was a time when under par scores were scarce and a distant cry but now visible are the improvements and golfing ability and good scores are a regular feature”.
In the event for Senior Amateurs, AVM Zakaullah produced enough good shots to secure the first position for himself and gained ascendancy over his nearest rival Javed A Khan, a golfer with a mature swing. Winners of net positions were Wajid Sethi, first and Omer Farooq, second.
The ladies also enter the contest on Sunday and out to show their skills will be Tahira Nazir (Rawalpindi), Ghazala (Garrison), Nushmiya Sukhera (Gymkhana), Kara Alam (Gymkhana) and Ami Quin (Islamabad), besides others.