Ali Hai in the forefront in 51st National Golf


Ali Hai of Pakistan had a birdie on the 13th hole and a sequence of regulation pars on the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes for a 2 under par 70 to pull clear from the chasing competitors, at the end of the first round in this four rounds 51st National Amateur Golf Championship of Pakistan 2012, at the fabulous but demanding Royal Palm Golf Course, with national golf players of Afghanistan, Bangla Desh, Iran and Sri Lanka also in the run.
M. Dulal Hossain who is the top ranked player of Bangla Desh and currently competing in this championship for top honors, fired three birdies on holes 5, 7 and 12 backed by 13 pars against two bogies on holes 8 and 18, for a round of one under par 71, ending up one stroke behind the leader Ali Hai. Also bracketed with Dulal at a score of 71 is Ashiq Hussain, a very young one from Multan, who is adequately talented and in search for the national platform in the golfing arena of Pakistan. And placed at a score of gross 72 are three very strong competitors. N. Ranga of Sri Lanka is one and Ghazanfar Mehmood and M. Rehman of Pakistan, the other two. Whereas N. Ranga impressed with his long hitting, somehow his short game did not look sharp enough and the double bogie on the 12th hole and bogies on holes 8, 14 and 15 did bring an unpleasant frown on his face. However the super player touch was visible too and and the birdies on the 2nd and 4th hole and then a sequence of birdies on the last three holes saved the situation for him and supports his position as a fierce contender. Ghazanfar Mehmood of Pakistan was faced with a dilema similar to N. Ranga. Ghazanfar’s score was torn apart by four bogies but he recovered the stroke losses through birdies, three coming on the closing holes. As for M. Rehman, he remained steady with 14 pars, two birdies and two bogies.
Other contenders, although lagging a little away from the leaderboard but capable of emerging strongly are Waseem Rana at 73, Sajid Khan at 73 and N. Thangaraja of Sri Lanka at 74. Thankaraja looked brilliant in patches and though his hitting was extraordinary, missed putts made his score look miserable and he is a little frustrated with his first round score of 2 over par 74. However he hopes to create a better impact in the remaining three rounds. Other mentionable scores in the individal category are Haider Atique 75, Mohammed Sajib Ali(Bangla Desh)75, and Idrees Nisar Tinkoo 75.
At the completion of the first round the leader of the day, Ali Hai said that “the course really played tough with tees as far back as possible and the pin placements exceedingly difficult”. He further said, “My putting was really good and I managed to find the proper line, virtually always”.
Along with the Individual Championship also running is the international team match and in this contest Pakistan A Team is leading with a team score of gross 142, followed by Pakistan B at 145. Bangla Desh and Sri Lanka are placed at an aggregate score of 146 with Iran team too far behind at 171. Afghanistan is placed still further behind at 194. In the Inter Association Championship Sind Team leads with a score of 216. The Punjab team is six strokes behind at 222, followed by Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa at 230 and Federal Team at 233. The Ladies contest will start today with prominent contenders being, Ghazala Yasmin(defending champion), Tahira Nazir(former national champion), Durdana Soomro(Karachi), and upcoming talented ones like Kashfa Zafar, Nushmia Sukhera, Kara Alam, Maryama Khan and Ami Qin.