LAHORE: The Nabi Yousaf Memorial Open Golf tournament commenced at the par 72 Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Course on Friday morning, after the inaugural tee off by the star player Hamza Amin (Islamabad) and followed by his flite mates Usman Ali (Garrison) and Shawan Pervaiz (Gymkhana). And right from the word go, noticeable was the rhythm of Hamza Amin and quite a few other champions like M Safdar (Gujranwala) and Shabbir Iqbal (Islamabad).
At the end of the first round of 18 holes in this 2nd Nabi Yousaf Open Golf Championship, supported by the family of the business icons Nabi and Yousaf in whose memory this championship is in progress, Hamza Amin of Islamabad who is a top ranked golf professional of the country, produced the best round of the day with a brilliant score of gross 67, five under par. Throughout the first round, he displayed excellent shot making ability and some real good putting on the greens. Hamza had birdies on five holes (hole numbers 6, 9, 10, 13 and 14) and pars on the thirteen holes. And his round of 67 that propelled him to the top of the leaderboard was bogie free.
Another one who manages to share the top position with Hamza Amin is M.Safdar of Gujranwala. The good news for M.Safdar is that he has attained the top position ahead of star players like Shabbir Iqbal and M.Munir. Effort of M.Safdar in the first 18 holes in this Nabi Yousaf Memorial Open Golf Championship reflects an all round golfing performance due to excellence in application of golfing skills. Statistically the impressive score of gross 67 was the result of six birdies on holes 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 and 16, eleven regulation pars and just one bogie on the 10th hole.
Just one stroke behind Hamza and Safdar is the undisputed leader of Pakistan Golf, Shabbir Iqbal of Islamabad. Undoubtedly Shabbir is the most popular one of our national golf scene and can topple his challengers with the greatest of ease, when it comes to ultimate victory. However right now, after the first 18 holes in this three days 54 holes championship, Shabbir lies in second position at a score of gross 68,four under par. This score of 68 was assembled with the help of five birdies on holes 1, 3, 12, 13 and 17. A total of 12 regulation pars added classy support and though he lost a stroke on the 6th hole, he is in a position to surface in a still better standing after the second round on Saturday.
Others competitors in line are Zubair Satti (Islamabad)69, Shafiq Masih (Gymkhana) 69, Ali Naqas (Islamabad) 70, Raheel Ikram (Gujranwala) 71, Arif Ali (Gujranwala) 71, Wisal Khan (Peshawar) 71, M Munir (Islamabad) 72, Shabaz Masih (Gymkhana) 72 and Rehmatullah (DHA) 72.
The second round will commence on Saturday at 730 AM and aspirants like Hamza Amin, M.Safdar, Zubair Satti and Shafiq Masih have a lot to fight for; this is a grand opportunity and they have to pursue their dream of winning without getting perturbed by the temperamental strengths of the leading champions of our national golf circuit.