KARACHI: The national golfing year will tee off with a bang here at the Karachi Golf Club from Thursday (today) when Pakistan’s top notch golfers will begin their title campaign in Bank AL Habib’s 7th Rashid D. Habib Memorial National Professional Golf Championship.
Counted among the country’s most prestigious and lucrative tournaments, the Rashid D. Habib Memorial will carry at stake an enhanced prize basket of Rs 6 million.This year, the organisers have decided to upgrade the 54-hole tournament into a full 72-hole contest which will be played over four days culminating with a final round on Sunday (January 14).
A total of 103 players will be featuring in the various categories of the tournament. Apart from the seniors who will be locking horns for the lion’s share of the prize basket, the senior national professionals and junior professionals will also be playing in their respective categories concurrently. In addition, a two-day match for local professionals and caddies of KGC is also underway.
This tournament is one of the most prominent golf events on the Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) calendar with one of the highest prize money and is sponsored by Bank AL Habib. Pakistan’s Number 1 golfer Muhammad Shabbir Iqbal will defend his title against a field of 100 leading golfers from across the country. Last year, Shabbir scored 205 over 54 holes, 11 under par and bagged top prize money after a sensational play-off with Pakistan’s Number 2 Muhammad Munir.
As before, appearance money amounting to Rs500,000 will be distributed among top five golfers of Pakistan. A brand new Toyota car will also be awarded to the first player who achieves a hole-in-one. In 2014, KGC’s Abrar Ahmad made a hole-in-one from a distance of 147 yards at the yellow course at KGC and won a brand new 1300cc car.