KARACHI: Pakistan’s top players will be seen in action in the 60th National Amateur Golf Championship which tees off here at the Karachi Golf Club from Thursday (today).
The four-day championship, which will conclude on January 3, is the most prestigious event on the national golf circuit and will be played in Karachi for the first time in 20 years.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, subdued arrangements have been made for the Nationals as one didn’t witness any hustle and bustle at KGC on the eve of the championship.
Running concurrently with the National Amateur Championship will be the Inter-Association Team Tournament to be contested by the various provinces of the country.
Hosts Sindh Golf Association (SGA), buoyed up by the home advantage, will be hoping to win the team title ahead of other participating associations that include Punjab, Federal and KPK.
The amateur championship – the main event of the Nationals – will be played over 72 holes. A pack of talented Karachi players will be fancying their chances of winning the coveted title.
Among the leading players will be the big-hitting Saim Shazli, who topped the two-day SGA trials, which served as a dress rehearsal for the home province’s team ahead of the Nationals. Other leading players include the talented left-hander Hamza Ghani who won this year’s SGA Cup, Mansoor Teli, Aly Rana, M.A Mannan, Arsalan Shikoh, Omer Shikoh, Waqas Burki, Junaid Irfan and Abdullah Adil.
Among the players to watch out for during the championship will be Sindh’s young brigade of fast-rising players including Omar Khalid, who finished second in the SGA trials and was runner-up in the SGA Cup, Faldo winner Yashal Shah and Danyal Khan.
Among the top candidates for the title from the upcountry will be Islamabad’s Umer Khokhar, Salman Jahangir, Qasim Ali Khan and Damil Ataullah.
The Inter Association Match will be played over 36 holes on the first two-day the Nationals. Sindh A will start as favourites. It includes Mansoor Teli (captain), Saim Shazli, Omar Khalid and Arsalan Shikoh. Sindh B includes M.A Mannan (captain), Omer Shikoh, Abdullah Adil and Yashal Shah.
Punjab’s strong teams will also be in contention for the title. Their teams include Qasim Ali, Salman Jahangir, Osama Nadeem, Nouman Ilyas, Ahmed Kayani, Damil Ataullah, Ralfay Raja and Arsalan Sultan.
Federal Golf Association’s four-man team will also be fancying its chances with players like brothers Umer and Yasir Khokhar, Salman Khan and Azam Khan. KP’s team includes Hamza Khattak, Taimur Durrani, Sheryar Ghaffar and Akbar Qayyum.
Running alongside the amateurs’ championship will be the seniors and ladies championships. Both the seniors and ladies events will be played over three days starting on Friday.
Source: The News