Lahore-M Ashfaq and Amjad Yousaf acquired lead in three-day JA Zaman Open Golf Championship that commenced here at the par-72, Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course on Friday.

The highly-rated M Ashfaq of Airmen Golf Club, Karachi and upcoming Amjad Yousaf of Karachi Golf Club were bunched together as the leaders at the end of first round heading the field, after lighting up the golf course with accurate shot making and exquisite work on the greens.

From Ashfaq, the excellence filled round of five under par 67 was heartwarming stuff and in keeping with expectations that his peers in Karachi have from him.

As for Amjad, the superb display of golfing skills that enabled him to come up with an 18 holes score of 67, five under par is a testimony to the fact that he is full of talent and has started to appear as a dominant force in the golf circles of Pakistan.

“I had a very satisfactory start to the JA Zaman Memorial Open Golf Championship,” said Ashfaq and hoped the sponsors, the Zaman family, would like the performance of the first day. Hamid Zaman, head of the Zaman family, was certainly pleased about the fact that the top professionals numbering twenty had come up with under par rounds.

Ashfaq birdied seven holes (4th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th), managed regulation pars on 9 holes and bogeyed two holes (the 3rd and 10 hole) giving him a memorable score of gross 67 while Amjad had six birdies on holes 4, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 16, eleven regulation pars and just one bogey on the 15th hole.

Shabbir Iqbal (Islamabad), M Waqas (Islamabad) and M Afzal (Okara) scored gross 68, four under par each, just one stroke behind the leaders. Shahid Javed Khan (Gymkhana), M Munir (Islamabad), Mehmood Kayani (Islamabad) and Waheed Baloch also played well and scored gross 69, three under par each.

The amateur players also gave good performances and the top one at the end of the first day is Saqib Tufail of Garrison Golf Club with a gross score of 73 while Ghazanfar Mehmood was second with gross 73 and M Rehman of Royal Palm was third with gross 74 and Khalid Mehmood of Rawalpindi fourth with gross 76.

Till now, the hole-in-one cars remain unclaimed. During the first round, there were some narrow misses but no hole in one was acheived. In this regard, Hamid Zaman of the Zaman family wished all the players well in the second and third rounds.