LAHORE: Shafiq Masih of Lahore Gymkhana won the 35th Punjab Open Golf Championship at the captivating and enchanting par-72, Defence Raya Golf and Country Club Golf Course here on Sunday. This title bearing golf championship was a competition for the top golf champions of the country and certainly the champions responded by turning up in large numbers and exhibiting quality golf on a course that matches international standards and engages the golfers in a way that inspires them to produce the best. And Shafiq, a professional golfer of standing, challenged 117 other professionals including Shabbir Iqbal, who was considered unbeatable. Shafiq emerged as the Punjab champion after three rounds excellence in application of golfing skills. During the three rounds, he had scores of 74, 67 and 70 and three rounds aggregate of 211 five under par.
In the process, he overcame the strong challenge posed by Shabbir who remained steadfast in pursuing victory but Shafiq was never awed and Shabbir had to let go of his charge when Shafiq birdied the 17th hole and enhanced his lead over Shabbir to two strokes. On the final day it was a nerve wrecking contest between Shafiq, Shabbir and Mohammad Matloob. In the end Shabbir had to concede the title to Shafiq and his only consolation was that he lost by a solitary stroke.
In the race for amateur honours, Ghazanfar Mehmood came first, Nadeem Aslam was second and Fakhar Imam third. Khawaja Ahsan won the amateur net. The ladies title went to Ghazala Yasmin while Mrs Sameea Javed Ali won the ladies net. In the invitational event, Lt Gen Sadiq Ali played exceedingly well and won the first prize. He showed outstanding golfing ability and contested superbly. Subsequent to the conclusion of the championship, prize distribution ceremony was held at the Defence Raya Golf Club lawns. Lt Gen Sadiq Ali awarded prizes to the top performers.
Top ones in professionals’ section:
Shafiq Masih (Lahore Gymkhana) 74+67+70=211
Shabbir Iqbal (Islamabad) 72+70+70=212
M Matloob (Garrison) 71+72+68=213
Sajjad Khan (Islamabad) 74+73+70=217
Hamza Amin (Islamabad) 73+74+71=218
M Munir (Islamabad) 75+74+72=221