By Saadia Ahmad
LAHORE: It has happened once again. And all credit to the golfers of Pakistan who have showed cohesion, sense of purpose and application to emerge triumphant in the five-nation international golf championship. Besides Pakistan the other participating teams are from Bangladesh, Iran, India and Sri Lanka. The players of India and Sri Lanka carry a lot of respect with regard to their playing ability. Virtually all of them have played at the international level and beating them is not an easy task. In fact Pakistan have demonstrated how well they have improved. Compliments go out to the team and the Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) president Lt Gen Muhammad Tariq.
Contributions to the victory have come from Shahid Javaid Khan, Vaqas Ahmed and Dr Aimal Zaman. The team trophy was played over two days at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course and Pakistan at the start of Saturday’s round was two strokes ahead of India. One expected the Indian players to come up with an element of brilliance but then this did not happen. None of their players showed any improvement over the first day’s performance, and as a result India had to be content with the runners-up slot, three strokes behind Pakistan. Sri Lanka came third and Bangladesh fourth.
Yesterday was the second round in this four-day individual championship. Whereas the team championship has concluded, the leading contenders will now fight it out for the national title. With two days left, our leading amateur Shahid Javaid Khan is gradually establishing his position as the top contender to the national title. After his dream round of 67 on the first day he followed it up with a slightly less stunning round. His score of 71 on the second day may not fall in the brilliant category but it is good enough to leave him atop the leader board at the end of 36 holes.
Shahid Javaid teed from tee number 10 and was fantastic on the back 9, earning 3 birdies and scoring 32. Moving on to the front nine, he was certainly sluggish and messed up on three holes. At least on two holes, the bogies were uncalled for. But then that is all a part of the game. With Shahid Javaid at 138, five strokes away are three players, two from India and one from Pakistan. India’s top player Vikrant Chopra is at 143 and so are Amarbir Singh and Dr. Aimal Zaman. Vikrant was a little less astounding as no fireworks were visible in his charge of the golf course on Saturday.
Leading players (after 2 rounds):
Shahid Javaid Khan (Pak) 67 + 71 = 138
Vikrant Chopra (Ind) 70 + 73 = 143
Amarbir Singh (Ind) 70 + 73 = 143
Dr. Aimal Zaman (Pak) 69 + 74 = 143
Tissa Chandardasa (Sri) 72 + 72 = 144
Mithun Perera (Sri) 72 + 76 = 148
Vaqas Ahmed (Pak) 73 + 76 = 149
Waseem Rana (DHA) 74 + 75 = 149
The ladies event also got underway yesterday. A very pleasing sight was the presence of the Indian number one Shurti Khanna. This lady is a 4 handicapper and swings like a champion. In the first round, she hit 12 greens in regulation and her tee shots carried a masculine power. Even on her first visit to this golf course and on the first day of the competition she managed a par round of 72 that certainly is a reflection of her class. In the second position, after the first round, is Jamila Jabbar and she is 11 strokes behind Shurti. There is just no competition between our best and India’s best.
Edited on, October 10, 2004, 12:29 AM GMT, by Sultanzz.