PESHAWAR: International Muhammad Shabbir Iqbal created new record of 19 under 197 over 54-holes and clinched the trophy of the 3rd RMI Open Golf Championship played here at PAF Golf Course on Sunday.
Shabbir Iqbal succeeded in breaking the 18 under 198 score record of leading professional Imdad Hussain who created it in way back 1997 during the then Frontier Open Golf Championship. In-form Shabbir Iqbal added a very vital 64 on the third and last day to his overnight score 66, 67 by winning the prestigious event.
“It is certainly an honor for me as I have great association with PAF Golf Course and making a record in a course where I love to play is surely very encouraging for me,” Shabbir Iqbal told APP in post-match talks. “My putting was par better in this Championship as compared to Sindh Open concluded recently where I lost to Matloob Ahmad while I succeeded in hitting all regulations which eased my job to go for birdie-putt,” he added.
“Playing in Peshawar always fascinate me and I’m very happy the way golf is being promoted with increase in prize money as well certainly that would attract more golfers in future,” he said. He further said that the Championship being organized always attracted leading golfers because of the dedicated efforts of international golfer Maj Arshad Mehmood who cares after the golfers besides superb hosting.
Shabbir Iqbal carded three under 33 at front nine and five under 31 at back nine with birdies at 1, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. His close rival Matloob from Lahore Gymkhana added five under 67 to his overnight 69 and 68 to make an aggregated total 12 under 204. Matloob Ahmad, a Lahore Gymkhana professional carded three under 33 at front nine and 34, two under at back nine to score one bogy and birdies at 3, 5, 11, 12 and 17.
Muhammad Ashfaq, who was a stroke behind the leader Shabbir Iqbal on the second day, slipped to third position with his gross score nine under 207. Muhammad Ashfaq added one over par 73 to his overnight 70 and 64 with only two birdies and three bogeys. He carded one over 37 at front nine and par 36 at back nine. Another leading golfer of Pakistan international M. Munir got fourth position with his gross score 207, five under, by adding one over par 69 to his overnight 67, 71. Muhammad Munir played well and carded par 36 at front nine with just one birdie and three under 33 at back nine with three birdies at hole no. 12, 17 and 18 and a missed stroke at hole no. 3. His second short at hold no. 3 par-4 landed in rough but he managed out quickly by finishing with just one missed stroke.
Muhammad Wisal Khan of Peshawar Golf Club scored five under 211, Ansar Mehmood (213), Muhammad Alam and Muhammad Naeem (214) each were the other leading golfers.
In the Amateur 12 and below Zubair Hussain carded 221 by taking first position, followed by Ghazanfar with 223 score and Taimur Khan with 224 score while in the Net Abdul Qayyum Bokhari carded 212 and got first position, followed by Hamza Khan with 214 and Khushal Khan with 217 over 54 holes.
In Junior professional Bilal Khan won first position with gross 151 over 36 holes, followed by Asad Khan and Syed Bilal Hussain. In 13-18 HCP Shanan Khan won first position, followed by Zahid Shafiq and Wing Commander Jawad Ali Raja. In the Net Azmat got first position, followed by Yasir Huda Khan and Laraib.
In boys U-17 gross Hamza Bilal won first position, followed by Basil and Ahmad, in Net Laraib got first position, followed by Abbas and Muhammad Bin Qasim, in Boys Under-14 gross Adan Bokhari got first, followed by Hazi and Danial and in Net Bilal, Darmal and Jalal got positions.
In Senior Amateur gross international golfer Col Saud won the title, followed by Mohsin and Brig Iqbal while in Net Azhar Ul Habib won first position, followed by Dr. Shahkar and Rahim Bari while in Veterans gross Imdad Hussain of Railways won the title with five under par 67, followed by Asad and Mehmood Kiyani of PTV, in Net Col Safi won the title, followed by Col Saeed and Jamal Ul Hasnain. In Ladies US National Ami Qin won the title in gross, followed by Tahir and Asma and in Net Aisha won the title, followed by Zeenat Aisha and Aisha Hamid.
In Media Putting Javed Iqbal of Dawn TV won first position, followed by Hashim of Frontier News and Jehanzeb of Al-Safawat Sports Magzine.
At the end, Governor KP Iqbal Zafar Jhagra who was the chief guest on this occasion gave away trophies and cash prizes to the position holders. A total of 350 golfers from across the country took part in the event. AVM Sarfaraz, Station Commander Brig Ghulam Hassan Joya, Maj Arshad Mehmood were also present.