LAHORE-Defending champion Matloob Ahmed lost the battle to Muhammad Munir of Rawalpindi Golf Club after the winner came up with a brilliant performance in the final round on Sunday in the 39th Punjab Open Golf Championship that concluded here at the PAF Skyview golf course. 

At the start of the final round, Matloob was considered the likely winner, but outstanding display of golf playing skills accompanied by mental toughness enabled Munir to completely swing the flow of game in his favor and throughout the final 18 holes, he appeared as the dominant one and succeeded in lifting the title. 

In the final round, Munir had a score of 67 and a three days aggregate of 206, 10 under par. Young M Shahzad of Garrison Golf Club played remarkably well and gathered scores of 71, 71 and a sparkling 66 in the final round and a championship aggregate of 208, eight under par. Matloob had to be content with the third position with his three round scores being 68,70 and 71 and a total of 209, seven under par. 

Besides these top three, other top performers were M Shabbir (Islamabad) with an aggregate score of 211, Suleman Akhter (Gymkhana) 213, M Alam (PSGCC) 213, Talat Ijaz (Gymkhana) 214, Usman Ali (Garrison) 214, Taimoor Khan (Peshawar) 215, Ahmed Baig (PSGCC) 216, Ashiq Hussain (Multan) 216 and Latif Rafiq (Gymkhana) 216. From the angle of development and player progress, Shahzad, Suleman Akhter and Taimoor Khan are new finds in the professionals category. 

In the amateurs section, Salman Jehangir of Lahore Gymkhana emerged as winner with gross scores of 70, 75 and 77 and an aggregate of 222. Qasim Ali Khan (Gymkhana) secured second with a total score for three days of 224 and Umar Khokhar of Bahria Rawalpindi finished third with aggregate score of 230. 

In ladies section, Parkha Ijaz (Defence Raya) clinched the title as her scores for the two rounds were gross 78 on the first day and gross 76 in the second round. Aaniya Syed (PAF Skyview) was runner-up and Suneyah Osama (PAF Skyview) earned third position. Ladies first position in net was claimed by Laiba Shah (Gymkhana) while B Fatima bagged second net and Saeeda Iman Ali Shah (Gymkhana) attained third. 

In senior professionals, Mohammad Akram was first, Tahir Nasim second and Raja Iftikhar third. In junior professionals, Abdul Wadood finished first, Faizan second and Akash Bashir third. In senior amateurs, Lt Col Asif Mehdi won first net, Tariq Mehmood second and Ahsan Ghias third while Rustam Chatta bagged first gross, Rashid Akbar second and Lt Col Waqar Ahmed third. 

At the conclusion of the event, the prizes were awarded to the notable performers by Lt Gen (r) Amir Riaz, President Punjab Golf Association (PGA) in a ceremony attended by Air Commodore Umar Naeem, Air Commodore (r) Tariq Usman Abbas, Brig (r) Shahid Wahab Rao, Brig Ijaz Ahad Khan, Adeel Sheikh and participating golfers and their families.