KARACHI The 15th Chief of Naval Staff Open Golf Championship will begin here at the lush green Karachi Golf Club from Thursday. The championship this year carries the biggest ever prize purse in national golf history of Rs. three million. The four-day 72-hole championship has attracted 360 competitors in separate six categories. A big field of 120 professionals including last years winner Muhammad Munir will be playing for the top honors and the top prize money. Other leading golfers Shabbir Iqbal, Matloob and Shahid Javed will also be seen in action in the event which has been sponsored by United Marine Agencies. Commander Karachi Rear Admiral Sayyid Khawar Ali addressed a media briefing here at KGC on Tuesday in which he highlighted the role of the sponsors and Navy for the promotion of the sport. The competition in both professional and amateur section would be held on 72 holes. He said holding the CNS event successively for the 15th year shows Navys involvement and participation in the national golfing calendar. He said the championship had earned a significant importance in the PGF calendar. He thanked UMA for stepping forward to support the event. He also thanked subsidiary sponsors Arena, GAC Pakistan, KPT, Toyota Central Motors, Bharia Foundation, ICS, Akbar Group and Pepsi Co Pakistan. He said the professional event would be the main attraction of the championship. As many as top 40 would receive prize money with the winner taking Rs. 4,94,110 and the runners up getting Rs. 3,38,310. The second runner up will get Rs. 1,90,080.The 40th finish will receive Rs. 20,250, he added. Besides the cash prizes, the professionals have added attraction of clinching a Toyota Altis car for hole-in-one. The senior professionals would also be receiving cash prizes. As many as 36 senior professionals have entered the competition in their category. There will be lucrative prizes in amateur category also. As many as 90 golfers have registered to play in this event. Amateurs would be entitled to get a golf kit for hole-in-one and a return international air ticket as prize besides other attractive prizes. There will be separate 18-hole competition for juniors, ladies and seniors. A field of 16 ladies including Pakistan ladies champion Tahira Nazir will vie for top honors. Twenty juniors and 34 seniors will appear in their categories. A separate competition over nine holes will be held for a field of 44 veterans. Before the media briefing, the Commander Karachi teed off the picturesque golf course to formally open the championship. He also lauded the media for its support.