LAHORE - Pakistan ‘C’ team took lead at the end of the first round in the four-round 53rd National Amateur Golf Championship here at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Golf Course on Thursday.
Home team comprising young golf talent of Zohaib Asif and Naeem Khan showcased their potentialities in so far 36 holes contest. The combination of Zohaib from Karachi and Naeem of Peshawar played exceedingly well and their combined aggregate score was 147 and they are ahead of the Pakistan 'B' team comprising Salman Jehangir and Taimoor Khan by one stroke and Pakistan 'A' team comprising Ghazanfar Mehmood and M Rehman by six strokes.
As regards the international teams, Bangladesh team of M Nazim and M Sagor is placed at a score of 154. Sri Lanka team of Sisira Kumara and P Hemantha are at 158, while Iran team of Reza Pourhasseini and Ebrahim Noori is at 176. Afghanistan team of Noor Ahmed and Ali Ahmed is placed last at a team aggregate score of 205, far behind the leaders, trailing by 58 strokes, behind Pakistan C.
In the race for individual honors, Zulfiqar Ali of Multan was total excellence with an opening round of gross 70, two under par and this superb performance fetches him the top leader board position at the end of the first round. "The greens of Royal palm were really good,” he said and added: "I putted so very fondly and with purpose.” The birdies on holes 3, 8, 9 and 12 provided the necessary boost and he looks forward to playing still better on Friday.
The other contenders in line for honors are Taimoor Khan at a score of 72, followed by Naeem Khan at 73, Zohaib Asif at 74, Omer Salamat at 74, Mubariz Ahmed at 74, Ali Hai, an ex-national champion, at 75, Ashiq Hussain at 75 along with Tariq Mehmood, and then there are Ghazanfar Mehmood, Salman Jehangir, Mohsen Zafar at 76.
In the Inter Association Championship, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa team leads with a score of 224. The Sindh team is three strokes behind at 227, followed by Federal at 229, Punjab at 229 and Balochistan at 238.
The ladies contest will start today (Friday) with prominent contenders being, Ghazala Yasmin (defending champion), and upcoming talented ones like Nushmia Sukhera, Maryama Khan and Ami Qin.