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Peshawar’s Zahir takes lead as PGF’s Q-School begins

By Our Correspondent
September 11, 2020

KARACHI: The Covid-19 lockdown on golf officially ended here on Thursday when the four-day Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) Qualifying School teed off at the Karachi Golf Club (KGC) with almost 300 players featuring in it.

Since March this year when Islamabad Golf Club hosted the National Amateur Championship, there hasn’t been any organised golfing tournament in the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But with things getting better, the PGF finally decided to allow the staging of the Q-School which will help select dozens of golfers for the national professional circuit. A total of 52 professionals, 18 senior professionals and 15 junior professionals will earn the right to feature on the national professional circuit. The top-40 players of the country are exempted from the Q-school.

Vying for the PGF ‘professional card’ which can get a player a direct entry to the fast growing national professional circuit, the aspiring golfers will be taking part in a total of four rounds at KGC and the Airmen Golf Club. The prestigious KGC is hosting the first leg of the PGF Q-School event while the final leg will be held at the AGC which is counted among the longest and most challenging golf courses in the country.

In the opening round on Thursday, the participating golfers found the going tough at KGC with Peshawar’s Zahir Shah taking a slim one-shot lead after firing a steady round of par-72.

In second place was KGC’s Rofin Shamim, who carded 73. Rofin, who is known among his peers as ‘Tiger’ because of his resemblance to the legendary Tiger Woods, is hoping to secure a PGF card by doing well in the Q-School. In third place was the duo of Lahore’s Aadil Jahangir and Peshawar’s Azmat Khan, who both shot 74.

They were trailed by a total of nine golfers at 75 – Amir Khan, Ahmed Saeed, Asif Ali, Azhar Khan, Latif Rafiq, M Khalid, M Rehman, Shahid Parvez and Suleman Akhtar.

Commodore Ghazanfar Abbas, the tournament director, said that all players were following Covid-9 SOPs.

He also said that preparing the KGC course for the event after the heavy downpours earlier this month was a big challenge. He praised the staff of the golf course for their hard work.

The Q-School is a PGF event being held in collaboration with Sindh Golf Association (SGA), KGC and AGC.