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Matloob on fire as Chevron-DHA Open tees off at DACGC

Sports

May 12, 2018

KARACHI: Lahore’s seasoned professional Matloob Ahmed hogged the limelight on the opening day of Chevron-DHA Karachi Cup All Pakistan Open Golf Championship when he fired a stunning round of six-under-par 66 here at the Defence Authority Country and Golf Club on Friday.

Matloob was in the top gear on a hot but windy day as he made a series of birdies to take a one-shot lead at the end of the first round of the Rs 3.5 million championship.

In second place on the leader-board was relatively lesser-known Rehmatullah of DHA who carded a superb round of five-under-par 67 that overshadowed the likes of Pakistan No. 1 Shabbir Iqbal and defending champion Waheed Baloch. But the day really belonged to Matloob who was in his element especially on the ocean-side front nine where he made five birdies for a score of 31. He made birdies on holes 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 on front nine and then added three more to the tally on back nine on holes 12, 17 and 18.

Two bogies on holes 13 and 16 were the only blemishes on Matloob’s opening day card. Rehmatullah made birdies on holes 2, 4, 9, 13 and 16 in a bogey-free round. Two shots off the pace was the duo of M Zubair of Islamabad and M Ashfaq of Airmen Golf Club, both tied for the third place at 68.

Title favourite Shabbir Iqbal from Islamabad made a steady start as he decided against taking any unnecessary risk on his way to 69. He made birdies on holes 4, 5, 6, 8 and 14 with bogies on holes 10 and 13. Also on 69 were Arshad Rasheed of KGC and Zulfiqar Ali of DHA.

Muhammad Munir spearheads a quartet at 70 with Ashir Masih, Khalid Khan and Moazzam Siddique. Waheed Baloch returned with a par round along with Kashif Masih, Ahmed Saedd, M Zubair, M Khalid and Nadeem Khan.

In the amateurs’ category, Pakistan No. 1 Ahmed Baig was quick to stamp his superiority as he took a healthy six-shot lead after carding two-under par 70 with birdies on holes 5, 7, 11 and 12. He was followed by Junaid Irfan (78). Placed on a joint third place were Zohaib Asif, Zunair Khan, Sajid Khan, Khalid Khan and M Qasim.

Following is the professionals’ leader-board after the first round: 66 - Matloob Ahmed

67 – Rehmatullah

68 – M Zubair, M Ashfaq

69 – Shabbir Iqbal, Arshad Rasheed, Zulfiqar Ali

70 – Muhammad Munir, Khalid Khan, Moazzam Siddique

72 – Waheed Baloch, Kashif Masih, Ahmed Saeed, M Zubair, M Khalid, Nadeem Khan.

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