LAHORE -  The 6th JA Zaman Memorial Open Golf Championship will roll into action today (Thursday) here at the Lahore Gymkhana golf course.

Addressing the press conference, Lahore Gymkhana convener golf Shaukat Javed, along with JA Zaman Family head Hamid Zaman, captain golf Omer Zia and director media Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed, said: “What makes this tournament truly exceptional is that it has no corporate sponsor. This Open Golf Championship is entirely a family effort given total support by the JA Zaman Family, who ensured that this championship is held in a way that JA Zaman, an icon of excellence, would have liked.

Shaukat said that for the tournament’s 6th edition, the prize money on offer is a mouth-watering Rs 3 million. In addition, the golfers will also have a chance to win a luxury car with a hole-in-one.

Hamid Zaman said that it was necessary to highlight and share that during his lifetime, JA Zaman was regarded as a supporter of sports activity and he was associated with golf at Lahore Gymkhana for over 50 years. He was known as an avid philanthropist, a successful entrepreneur, a much loved family man, a man endued with nobility and a guide to all he came across either as fellow members or golfers. This icon oozed with passion about fulfilling the needs of the less privileged ones.

“His children are ably carrying on this aspect of his legacy as well as just last year the charitable Zaman Foundation allocated a special fund for the health and education of the caddies and ball boys,” he added.

Omer Zia highlighted that top professional golfers of the country are eligible to participate. As a result they get an opportunity to perform well and add to their earnings and for most of these golf professionals, it is a question of basic livelihood also. There is also an event for the junior professionals, the age eligibility of which is 21 years and the prize money is Rs 225,000, he added.

As for senior professionals, the age criteria is 50 years and above. Most of the senior professionals taking part in this championship are the players, who have performed at the national level during their youthful days. The prize money allocated for them is Rs 350,000.

Khawaja Pervaiz said that the title sponsor of this championship is the JA Zaman Family. “The professionals and amateurs will compete over three days from Feb 22 to 24. The senior professionals competition will be held on Thursday over 18 holes. Similarly, senior amateurs will also compete over 18 holes on Thursday. Eligible senior amateurs must have a handicap of 14 and below.

There is also an event for the veterans above 70 years of age and one of the participant, Khawaja Sadiq Hassan falls in age bracket above 90 years and appears determined to win. The ladies will compete over two days on Saturday and Sunday and total participation in all events is 240 which includes 100 professionals, he added. Shabbir Iqbal has the honor of winning this title four times while Matloob Ahmad won it in 2015.

Hamid also highlighted that the final round will take place on Sunday at the Lahore Gymkhana golf course. At the conclusion of the championship, the prize distribution will be held at 4:30 pm. The Family of JA Zaman will be hosts at the prize distribution ceremony.