ISLAMABAD - As many as 82 professional golfers will vie for the title of 40th Open Golf Championship of Pakistan which will tee off from Thursday (tomorrow) at Rawalpindi Golf Club, as the event is pursuing prize money of Rs.1.5 million. Secretary Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) Taimoor Hasan told reporters in a press conference at the venue that Rs.200,000 would also be distributed amongst the top senior golfers. "Top national players Shahbir Iqbal and Muhammad Munir will be featuring in the four-day national golf showpiece. Foreign players refused to visit Pakistan for this event due to security concerns," he added. Shahryar Khan, an official of Army Welfare Trust (AWT) was also present on this eve. While replying a question, he said that after the Lahore incident in which Sri Lankan cricket team was hit and seven players got injuries the foreign players did not show their will to participate in eth Pakistan Open. "The Federation is trying to maintain the activity to give a massage to overseas players that the game is going on in Pakistan. At present, we have not honest justification to ask any foreigner players to visit here if any other international team visits Pakistan we will ask golfer to come here in Pakistan for competitions," he described. He said that Airil Rizman Zahari from Malaysia was the defending champion of Pakistan Open Golf Championship. "This time he is not joining the event. This event was stage in Rawalpindi last time in 1996 and Imdad Hussain had claimed the title. It is expected that it will be a good contest among the top national players during the 40th edition of Pakistan Open Golf Championship 2009," he hoped. Taimoor further said that the championship would be player over 72 holes and 18 holes game will be played each day. "However, professional and amateur competitions will be held over 72 holes while 42 Senior Professional will fight for their respective category title in which age of over 50 will eligible to take part in 36 holes fixture," he maintained. Secretary PGF said that the president PGF General Ishfaq Pervaiz Kayani would visit on the closing day to distribute the prizes among the winners and runner-ups of the prestigious national gold championship 2009. "The pitch is good and the organisers work hard to prepare a fine course for the top national golfers. Rawalpindi is hosting this event after 13 years," he concluded. Later, Pakistan number one golfer, Shabbir Iqbal, who recently won the Lahore Garrison Golf Championship, said that he would perform well to clinch the title. "I am well prepared and pitch is also good and I am optimistic to win the title," he said.