LAHORE: The 37th Punjab Open Golf Championship accredited and sustained by MCB, Allied Bank and DHA, concluded at Defence Raya Golf Course Golf on Saturday after some outstanding displays of quality golf by Matloob Ahmed, Shabbir Iqbal and the new discovery Mohammad Alam.
What further enlivened the proceedings was the fact that Matloob succeeded in eliminating the overnight one-stroke deficit and then birdieing holes 5 and 8 and levelling with the champion Shabbir Iqbal at the end of first nine holes.
A tormenting aspect of the fierce competition was that the other challenger Hamza Amin, from whom much was expected, lost his way as the unexpected happened on the 9th hole. Hamza hit his shot into the water and then as per rules took another shot and as if to inflict unbearable pain, this shot too went into the water and so did another one. This disastrous episode resulted in the loss of five strokes and for him, the race to the championship title was over.
From thereon it was a battle between Shabbir and Matloob. And as the proceedings moved on, the victory tilt started to move in Matloob’s favour as Shabbir lost a stroke on the 11th hole while Matloob by virtue of admirable hitting secured two birdies on holes 12 and 13.
Score wise Matloob won with three rounds scores of 69,69 and 68 and an aggregate of 206, ten under par. Shabbir Iqbal was runners up with rounds of 66,71 and 70 and an aggregate of 207, nine under par. Mohammad Alam came third with scores of 68,71 and 70 and an aggregate of 211, five under par.
Other positions went to Muhammed Ashfaq of Airmen Golf Club with 215, Anser Mehmood of MGGC with 216, Shafiq Masih of Gymkhana with 216, Hamza Amin from Islamabad with 217, Muhammed Munir from Islamabad with 217, Talib Hussain of CDA with 217.
The Punjab Open lived up to its reputation of being one the best-organized events of the Pakistan Golf calendar.
This championship also catered for the amateurs, who amongst themselves tried to keep up the environment of competition.
Taimur Khan with an aggregate score of 228 managed to win the first gross. Robin Bagh acquired the second gross position with 232. Ghazanfar Mehmood came third with a score of 233. In the race for net honours, Danish Javed played brilliantly to come first in the net section with a net score of 220. Khawaja Ahsan secured the second net followed by Jamal Nasir in the third set.
Parkha Ijaz topped in Ladies Gross with Humna Amjad second and Ghazala Yasmin third. Net section ladies winner was Suneya Osama (first net), Ana James Gill (second net) and Shahzadi Gulfam (third net).