Thursday Oct 11, 2018
KARACHI: Pakistan’s young amateur golfer Ahmed Ali Baig was off to a flying start as he scored five-under-par 67 to grab a lead, jointly shared with Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul, on day one of US$300,000 Asian Tour CNS Open Golf Championship at Karachi Golf Club on Thursday.
Twenty-year-old Baig took advantage of a hot putter and didn’t let the pressure get to him as he went one clear over the rest of the field.
After playing first three holes at par, Ahmed hit back-to-back birdies on 4th and 5th hole. He again showed his class by hitting birdies at 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th hole before playing a bogey at 16th which probably deprived him of being the sole leader on the board.
“This is my first Asian Tour event and I am very happy about my first round, especially the front nine where I made four straight birdies. I am pleased with my performance today,” said Baig about his performance.
“The pressure mounted on 14th hole when I had the share of the lead but I have been in this situation before,” he added.
Baig, who won the Sindh Open at the same venue last month, hoped to score another four or five under on day two of the championship.
Thailand’s 31-year old Namchok played 8 birdies but bogies on 3rd, 6th and 12th hold restricted his score to 5 under in round one.
Pakistan’s number one golfer Mohammad Shabbir, Honey Baisoya of India, James Ryan Lames of Philippines and Thailand’s Pawin Ingkhapradit are jointly tied at third position.
Shabbir continued his good run of form at the Karachi Golf Club as he scored a 4-under 68. The 41-year-old played just one shot over-par on 9th hole.
He had earlier won the local edition of the championship at the same venue.
“Last tournament I played here, I played 16-under which was an extraordinary result. I am looking forward to play better than the local edition of CNS championship here,” said Shabbir.
Pakistan’s Shahid Javed, Sunny Masih and Mohammad Munir, along with Thailand’s Jarkraphan Premsirigorn and Suradit Yongcharoencha, are jointly 7th with score of 3 under.