Ahmed Baig, Arif Ali secure lead as Pakistan Open Golf begins


KARACHI: Ahmed Baig of PAF Skyview Golf Club and Arif Ali of PTV lead the table in the four-round 47th Pakistan Open Golf Championship, which commenced on Thursday at Rawalpindi Club Golf Course.

The table leaders grossed 70 two under par on the opening day. These two players managed to edge past many established players, including Shabbir Iqbal, Matloob Ahmed and M Munir.

Ahmed Baig’s eagle on the 16th hole was the result of superb shot making and so were his birdies on holes 2, 6, 8, 12, 13 and 18. But then he had to encounter a dreaded double bogie on the 14th hole and bogies on holes 1, 5, 10 and 11 which made his score look a little less sparkling.

Arif Ali showed steadiness and accuracy in hitting.

Shabbir Iqbal of Islamabad, the top-ranked player of the country, is placed just one stroke behind the two leaders. In the first round, he made two major errors, one on hole number three and another one on the fourteenth hole. These errors resulted in double bogies and shocked the champion. However, his competence enabled him to retrieve the situation as he scored two eagles, one on hole two and another one on the fifth hole.

Behind these three are Matloob Ahmed (Garrison Lahore), Muhammed Rehman (Royal Palm), Sajjad Khan (Islamabad), Asad Khan (PAF) and Muhammed Shahzad (Garrison Lahore). All these are bunched together at a score of par 72.

Taimoor Khan (Peshawar), Zulfiqar Ali (DHA) and Muhammed Alam (PAF Skyview) ended the first round at a score of gross 73.

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