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January 14, 2018

Shabbir retains lead as Munir, Amjad remain in hunt


January 14, 2018

KARACHI: Shabbir Iqbal consolidated his position at the top of the leader-board even as a host of challengers continued their bid to catch up with him in the third round of Bank AL Habib’s Rashid D. Habib Memorial National Professional Golf Tournament here at the Karachi Golf Club on Saturday.

With another solid round of three-under 69, Shabbir extended his lead to three strokes with an aggregate of 207 (-9).

But within striking distance was the duo of last year’s runner-up Muhammad Munir and KGC’s Amjad Yousuf at 210. While Amjad is also a seasoned pro, Shabbir will be more wary of Munir, the man whom he barely managed to beat in a tense playoff at last year’s edition of the tournament.

A man of few words, Shabbir hinted that he was saving his best for last. “The course is playing well and I’m confident going into the final round,” the defending champion said.

While the spotlight remained on Shabbir, the day’s best score was recorded by Gujranwala’s M Safdar Khan, who carded four-under 68 in the third round. Safdar sizzled on the Blue Course where he eagled the par-4 sixth and made birdies on holes 2, 7 and 9. He played four-under on the front nine and finished the back nine with a par 36.

Lahore’s Matloob Ahmed continued playing steady golf with 71 for an aggregate of 211. Pakistan’s number 4 Waheed Baloch of KGC played two-under 70 and is at 12th position with 216.

Today’s leader in the senior professionals’ category was Ghani Khan of Karachi. Ghani played 5-under par 67. Iftikhar Ahmed, Abdul Jabbar and Mehmood Kiani are following him together with 71.

Kashif Masih of Lahore Garrison Golf Club did 75 and is leading in the junior category. Nadeem Khan and Kamal Khan are following him together with 78.

A total of 46 professionals will compete in final round on Sunday (today). The final round will be followed by the prize distribution ceremony.

Following is the leader-board after the third round:

207 – Shabbir Iqbal

210 – Muhammad Munir, Amjad Yousuf

211 – Matloob Ahmed

214 – M Safdar Khan, Muhammad Zubair, Talib Hussain, Ahmed Saeed

215 – Ansar Mahmood, Moazzam Siddique

216 – Wisal Khan, Waheed Baloch, Muhammad Asif.

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