Salman Aslam

Candid Schmooze

J Zaman Open Golf 2015

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J Zaman family sponsored golf tournament kicked off at the pristine, manicured and closely mowed lightning greens of Lahore Gymkhana. Weather pundits’ predictions were true promising a highly favourable golfing environment. Golfing arrangements were immaculate and meticulously monitored. To ensure snag free golf with minimal holdups forecaddies were detailed as ball pointers. This was instrumental in keeping pace of play as lost ball time losses were minimal.

Another underlying feature has been allocation of an additional day to cater for subsidiary, seniors, veteransand boys categories segments. This certainly augers well. Professionals and amateurs can give an exhibition of their dexterity unfazed by organisational fauxpas. Lahore Gymkhana course requires massive improvement and innovation in course design to make it formidable in consonance with international standards. The only two courses at Lahore meeting some semblance of international standard circuit are The Defence Raya and Royal Palm courses.

Let us recapitulate the events day wise. Day 1 was allocated for senior professionals, amateurs and veteran categories. Golfers of yester years above 55 participate with same tenacity and vigour reminiscent of the days gone by. As is evident from the low scoring and gruelling neck to neck finishes they are still quite a force to reckon with. Veteran categories comprise the septuagenarian above 70 who display their golfing forte with equal zeal and zest.

Old stalwarts and ever green Hamayun Rashid and UD Najmi clinched the veterans by a stroke adrift.25 veterans entered the arena more than the amateurs. In senior amateurs category mostly comprising ofsexagenarian’s age groupthe competition was even fiercer. Tariq Mahmood edged out Nafay by a stroke a piece with gross 77.With new PGF ruling where only gross prizes would be awarded to single handicap players came into force after the match.

Only 8 ladies entered the field for a 36 holes encounter. Murayama Khan broke away from the chasing pack with gross 179 seven strokes clear of her nearest challenger Ana James Gill. In senior amateurs category Asghar Ali and Mahmood Hussain with 74s each overcame a powerful late burst from Imdad who stood on his own at 3rd with 75. In amateurs segment entries were appalling. Ayaz Salim led from the front eclipsing his nearest contender Sardar Murad Khan by five strokes. Taimur Shabbir son of NH Major Shabbir Sharif chipped in with 2nd net.

The gruelling duel amongst the professional category was centre of attraction. It was scintillating competition between two elite golfers Shabbir and Matloob. The tug of war between the two this time ended with a victory for garrisons Matloob by five strokes. Matloob stellar and sterlingperformance stole the limelight.He avenged his earlier defeats at the hands of Shabbir. Munir of Islamabad got 3rd slot a further seven strokes adrift.

Overall a well organised event. Prize distribution ceremony was well attended.

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posted by Salman Aslam @ 9:48 AM,


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