Monday May 27, 2024

Pakistan retain JR Jayewardene Golf Trophy

By Abdul Mohi Shah
March 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan retained the JR Jayewardene Trophy after beating Sri Lanka by eight strokes as the 59th National Amateur Golf Championship got underway at the Islamabad Club here on Friday.

Pakistan’s pair of Taimoor Khan and Zohaib Asif carded a combined score of four over 148 on a course that was heavy following days of rain. Taimoor returned with a score of one over 73 for the day and Zohaib carded three over 75.

Sri Lanka’s Punith de Silva (80) and Udesh C Perera (76) combined for a score of 12 over 156, which meant that Pakistan retained the trophy they won two years back.

“The course was heavier than usual following rain and uncertain weather. That was the reason for a slow start. However, once the day progressed things got better,” Taimoor said.

Taimoor had a double bogey and two bogeys up front along with two birdies on the eighth and ninth holes to manage a score of 38. However, he recovered well on the back nine where he birdied hole No 12 besides playing par to record a score of 35.

A double bogey and a couple of bogeys on the back nine by Sri Lanka’s Udesh dented his team’s chances of getting a better score following a good start to the proceedings up front where he got one over 37.

Seasoned Ghazanfar Mehmood was on the top of the leaderboard in the individual category of the National Amateur Championship, carding a score of par 72 on the opening day. The golfer from Rawalpindi had two birdies (hole Nos 5 and 9) and back to back bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes.

Taimoor and Tariq Mehmood both carded one over 73 for the day to stand overall second.

Federal Golf Association was leading the chart in the Inter Association Trophy with a healthy lead.

Umer Khokhar (79), Raja Israr (76), Tariq (73) and Zubair Hussain (74) combined for an aggregate score of 223 for the opening round. Khyber Pakhtun­khwa’s team of AQ Bokhari (82), Dr Hamza Khattak (84), Khalid Khan (88) and Taimoor (73) were trailing the leaders by 16 strokes.

A further seven strokes behind were Punjab Golf Association being represented by Nouman Ilyas (88), Ashiq Hussain (80), Ahmad Kayani (84) and Salman Jahangir (82).

“We have a healthy advantage going into the second round and hopefully we will further consolidate our position on Saturday. Personally, I will also try to improve further after my one over today,” Tariq Mehmood said.

The weather is expected to get better on Saturday for the second round of the competition.