LAHORE - M Naeem of Abbottabad Golf Club was outstanding in the opening round of the three-round 4th Chief of Naval Staff Golf Championship in progress here at the par 72 Royal Palm golf course on Friday.

The players behind Naeem were Zulfiqar Ali, Ashiq Hussain, Ghazanfar Mehmood and M Rehman. Naeem’s consecutive regulation pars on the first three holes, birdies on the 5th and 7th holes supplemented by perfection oriented pars on holes 6th, 8th and 9th gave him a heartwarming start to the championship.

He continued his relentless pursuit of an impressive first round through birdies on holes 14 and 17 and pars on 10th, 16th and 18th holes. In between, there were some hicups too and the double bogies on holes 11th and 15th were bitter and not too acceptable but then he showed adequate mental strength by staying on course and remaining completely composed. The steady display of mental strength helped him to end up as leader at the end of the first round with an 18 holes score of gross 73, one over par.

Ghazanfar Mehmood of Rawalpindi ended the first round with a score of gross 75 and at the same score was Ashiq Hussain of Multan. Both the players are quite capable of moving ahead of Naeem with a more spirited performance during the second round on Saturday.

From amongst the other competing golfers those who look well placed are M Rehman (Royal Palm) at a score of 76, Tariq Mehmood (MGC) also at 76, followed by Taimoor Khan (Peshawar), Salman Jehangir (Gymkhana), Sharif(WWG), Usman Ali(Garrison), M Ali (Garrison), Sardar Murad (Gymkhana) and Nadeem Aslam (Garrison) all bracketed at a gross score of 77.

The seniors played nine holes on Friday and will play the remaining on Saturday. The race is on between Javed A Khan, Col Ikram, Shafiq Bhatti and Shoaib Bokhari. The other seasoned ones struggled with their putting which includes Dr Tariq Malik and Col (r) Mehdi.

The ladies will tee off today (Saturday) at 8am and the prominent ones participating are Ghazala Yasmin, Sameea Javed Ali, Dr Asma Shami, Shahzadi Gulfam, Ana James Gill and Zebun Nisa. Simultaneously, a contest will also be held between the North and South teams of Navy.