LAHORE   -   Ahmed Baig, now a star of the national amateur golf circuit, emerged as star of the opening day of the 8th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Amateur Golf Championship 2018 here at the Defence Raya Golf Course on Friday.

Regarded as a golf championship of repute and eminence, the CNS Golf has attracted amateur golf champions from across the country, with all of them seeking positions of merit during the course of three rounds competition. Out of 175 aspirants in search for the title, the one, who stood out after the first 18 holes, was young Ahmed Baig of Lahore Garrison Golf Club. He dominated the opening days proceedings and flow of play with phenomenal and amazing command over his shot making and this is reflected in his score of gross 65, seven under par.

No doubt Ahmed showed excellence in hitting powerful drives off the tees and backed this up with crisp shots from the fairways and level headed and reliable putting on the greens. “I loved the playing conditions at Defence Raya,” said Ahmed. “The fairways were just superb and lie of the ball perfect for accurate shots. I am extremely pleased with my game and hope to achieve a still better score in the second round.” During the round yesterday, he had eight birdies, nine pars and just one bogey on the 4th hole.

Besides Ahmed, the other forceful ones, who made their presence felt, were Zhoaib Asif (DHA Karachi), M Saqib (Garrison) and Zunair Aleem (Defence Raya). All these three contenders are bracketed at a gross score of 70, two under par and were five strokes behind the leader. Zohaib has looked really good on the first day and he compiled his score of 70, through five birdies, 10 regulation pars and three bogies. M Saqib and Zunair Aleem have been equally steady and it appears these four accomplished ones have set the competition path for the remaining two rounds.

Some more competitors, whose performance deserves a mention here, are Rafay Raja (Rawalpindi) and Salman Jehangir (Gymkhana) bracketed at a score of gross 73. Faisal Ali Malik is placed at a score of 74 and at 75 are Mohsen Zafar, Nasir Irshad and Zubair Ahmed.

In the race for honors in the net section, Faisal Ali Malik is ahead of others with a high quality net round of 66. Another one, who showed command, was Murad A Khan. These two succeeded in demonstrating control over their long game and the game around the greens and it was a pleasure to watch them. A total of 71 senior amateurs will compete today (Saturday) for deciding the best ones in the seniors category. The ladies had not concluded the round at the time of filing this report.