LAHORE: Mohammad Shoaib and Nouman Ilyas showed perfection on day one of the National Amateur Golf here on Wednesday while an impressive performances were also given by Usama Nadeem, Omar Khalid and Umer Farooq.
More than 60 golfers are seeking the top honours in this four-round championship, including three champions from Sri Lanka and one from Egypt. A sparkling performance was given by 20-year-old Muhammed Shoaib of Lahore Gymkhana Golf Club who had an 18 holes score of gross 71, one under par. He was tied on the top position with Nouman Ilyas, who also carded a score of 71, one under par.
All through the first 18 holes, Shoaib and Nouman were in spectacular control of their shot making -- be it powerful 300 yards plus drives off the tees on all par fours or par fives backed by sublime control over approach shots from 70 to 100 yards and then the most grueling of all, the putting aspect on the greens.
Shoaib and Nouman reflected exemplary ascendancy over all round golf playing techniques and managed the score of 71 with the help of regulation pars and birdies which were partially neutralized by bogies also.
“The first round has been marvelous for me,” Shoaib said and added that he hoped his form to get better. Salman Jehangir of Pakistan Team and Ralfe Aslam Raja of Punjab Golf Association Team were bunched together at a masterly score of gross 72.
Usama Nadeem of Sargodha also impressed as did Omar Khalid of Pakistan Team and Umer Farooq of Gymkhana. Usama scored gross 73 while Omar Khalid and Umer are together at gross 74.
Placed at a gross score of 75 are Rao M Hassan (Rawalpindi), Umair Saleem (Federal Golf Association) and Saad Habib (Rumanza Golf Club).
Nine competitors are bracketed together at a score of gross 76. They are Hussain Hamid, Qasim Ali Khan, Muslim Abbas, Noman Asghar, Ahmed Zafar Hayat, Wng Cmdr Umer Farooq, Shameer Majid, Sher Ali Khan and Sri Lanka's Chalitha Pushpika. Another Sri Lankan Chanaka Perera is at 77 as is Ahmed Jibran.
In first round of 18 holes of the JR Jaywardene Team Match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the host team comprising Salman Jehangir and Qasim Ali Khan had a score of gross 148 (72 by Salman and 76 by Qasim) against 155 aggregated by Sri Lanka's RAU Akash Priyamantha and MH Chalitha Pushpika with Akash scoring 79 and Pushpika 76. Thus Pakistan won the JR Jaywardene Trophy by a margin of seven strokes.
Ladies enter the national race from Thursday (today) and include a player from Qatar, Nida Mir. Her handicap is two.
Earlier, the Long Drive Competition was completed and in men’s section the winner was Salman Jahangir with a distance of 354 yards. Omer Intesar was second and his driving distance was 340 yards. Muhammad Daniyal with a distance of 305 yards was third.
In Senior Amateur Category, Umair Butt (DHA Raya) was first. His distance was 305 yards. Col Ikram ul haq was second with 303 yards followed by Muhammad Ali (Quetta) with 300 yards.