KARACHI - Duo of Hamza Amin and Matloob Ahmed shared the honours on the opening day of 43rd Pakistan Open Golf Championship here at the Airmen Golf Course on Thursday by carding a superb first round of six-under-par 68.

Top professionals Hamza Amin from Islamabad Golf Club and M Matloob Lahore Garrison Club showed excellence on day one in the 40-day 72-hole competition. Hamza, son Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) vice president Taimur Hasan, lit up the golf course with accurate and powerful hitting and champion like control over application of golf skills.

Hamza's brilliance can be judged that he compiled half a dozen birdies on holes 1, 8, 12 and three in succession on holes 16, 17 and 18. He also made bogeys on holes 7 and 9. "This is a wonderful golf course", Hamza said and "I have focused and managed my game in accordance with the demands of the golf course.”

Matloob from Lahore also showed his class and his round of gross 68 was laced with birdies on holes 4, 5, 9, 12 and 15. The third top performer, M. Ashfaq of the host club applied him with visible passion and excelled during the first 18 holes.

At the front nine Ashfaq made five birdies to show his potential and class. Other professionals in line are Afsar Ali (KGC), M Munir (Islamabad) and M Rizwan - all placed at a score of 70 - followed by score of 71 mustered by defending champion M Nazir Misal Khan and Jafal Hussain. At a score of par 72 are Ahmed Saeed, Yar Muhammed and M Javed. Shahid Javed Khan is at 73.

Ghazanfar Mehmood emerged as the first round leader in amateur with round three-under-par 69. One stroke behind him is Naeem Khan of Abbottabad and Karar Hussain of DHA is at gross 71.