International golfer Matloob Ahmad overcome the first day leader M. Tariq and took a two stroke lead with his 12 under 132 over 36 holes of the 54-holes 3rd Nur Khan Memorial Open Golf Championship being played here at PAF Golf Club on Saturday. The Championship is carrying a record Rs. 4.5 million cash prize. Matloob was struggling two strokes behind the leader of the opening day Muhammad Tariq who carded nine under 63 with his gross seven under 65, adding another vital five under 67 to make an aggregated total 12 under 132 over 36 holes.
Matloob carded four under 32 at front nine and one under 35 at back nine with birdies at Hole No. 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 17 and a single bogy at 16. "Today I played good as I made seven birdies and I hit almost all regulations which eased my job for going to a birdie-putt," Matlood said about his second day round.
The golf course is in excellent condition and well prepared with the grees are little bit faster but the smooth rolling help me a lot and so as I have an good round of taking just two stroke lead over first day leader Tariq, he added.
The opening day leader, Muhammad Tariq added on under 71 to his overnight score nine under 63 was struggling at 10 under 134 over 36 holes. Tariq carded par 36 at front nine and one under 35 at back nine with just one birdie and a bogy at Hole No. 11. "I could not make birdies today as my putting was not up to the mark despite hitting all greens," Tariq said.
Hamza Amin of Austria, who was sharing fourth place with other international golfers from Pakistan including Ahmad Baig, Muhammad Naeem, Shabbir Iqbal, Shahid Javed, Usman Khan over first round of 68, maintained his position at third with two stroke difference against second position holder Tariq with his score eight under 136. Hamza added another 68 to his overnight 68 to make a total score 136. Hamza Amin, who is also playing internationally, lauded the condition of the course.
Ahmad Baig was at fourth who added three under 69 to his overnight 68 by scoreing seven under 137. Ahmad, the winner of Sindh Open, Qatar Open, Bangladesh Open after becoming pro in February 2019, played well and maintained his fourth position by hitting two under 34 at front nine and one under 35 at back nine with five birdies and two bogeys.
"I played my round as I was well aware of the golfing course which has beautifully maintained with excellent greens and good condition of the fairways," Ahmed Baig said in a post round talks.
Hailing from Peshawar, international golfer Muhammad Naeem is at fifth position sharing with his score 138 with Shabbir, Waheed Baloch. Naeem added two under 70 to his overnight 68 to make a total of six under 138. Naeem carded par 36 at front nine and two under 34 at back nine with four birdies and a miss stroke at hole No. 2. Pakistan top golfer Shabbir, who is also the defending champion, is struggling at sixth position with his gross score 138. He carded two under 70 to his overnight score 68 by hitting three birdies and four bogys. The other professional golfers are struggling with their score including Waheed Baloch (138), Naseer Khan (139), Usman Ali, M. Munir, Talib Hussain four under (140).
The cut for the professional was one over 145 and a total of 44 golfers for the final round on Sunday wherein the prize distribution ceremony was held on 4.00 pm.
In the Amateur 12 and below International golfer Taimur of Pakistan Air Force was leading with his gross score five under 67, followed by Ghazanfar Mehmood (69) Gymkhana Club and Umar Khokhar of Rawalpindi Golf Club.