LAHORE - M Shabbir Iqbal produced a round of excellence with a superb score of gross 67, five under par to lead the opening day of the 3rd JA Zaman Memorial Golf Championship which got off to spectacular start at the historic par 72 Lahore gymkhana golf course here on Friday.

Shabbir achieved his score through birdies on holes 5, 6, 7, 11, 15 and 17, 11 regulation pars, and he also had to absorb a bogey on hole 13. He looked set to command after the completion of first 18 holes in the 54 hole competition.

Talib Hussain of Islamabad scored gross 68, four under par, thereby facing just one stroke deficit behind Shabbir. In the course of the first round, Talib had six birdies on holes 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 16, ten perfect looking pars and two bogeys on holes 12 and 18.

Shahid Javed Khan of Royal Palm at 70, Daanyaal Jehangir, M Rizwan, Shafiq Masih, Sunny John all from Gymkhana at 71, M Khurshid of Islamabad 71 and M Afzal of Okara were also at 71. At the score of 72 were Imdad Hussain, M Naqas, Khalid Khan, Ashir Masih and Latif Rafiq.

In amateurs category, Fakhar Imam of Defence Raya was on top with a score of gross 72. Robin Bagh was one stroke behind at 73 with Sardar Murad at 74 and Wazir Ali and Taimur Shabbir Shabbir at 77.