Mohammad Ashfaq of the Pakistan Air Force won the First 54-hole Swat Open Golf Tournament 2013 on Saturday. The three-day tournament concluded at Cedar Golf Club in Kabal, Swat.
Over 150 golfers from across the country participated in the tournament which began on August 29. Among them, 54 were professionals, 27 senior professionals, 45 amateurs and seven senior amateurs besides other players.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Sports, Tourism and Archaeology Mahmood Khan was the chief guest on the final day of the tournament. In his address, the minister thanked the K-P Gold Association and Pakistan Army for organising the event and termed it a positive step towards durable peace in the valley.
“The people of Swat have witnessed the ugly face of terrorism and floods. Sporting events like these on a national level will not only boost tourism, but will also send a positive message to the international community about Swat and Pakistan,” said Khan.
The golfers who participated in the tournament appreciated the event and said they had a pleasant experience.
“The golf course is really good and the layout is beautiful. However, further improvement is required and if it is done even an international event can be held here,” Sahid Javed, an international golfer, told The Express Tribune.
Imdad Hussain, a national level golfer, also praised the golf course and reiterated more efforts can be made to bring it up to the standards of international golf courses.
Ashfaq, who won the professional golfers category, said he is excited about his win. “This course is similar to the one in Karachi so it felt like an advantage.”
Mohammad Afzal, a golfer from Hyderabad who scored a hole-in-one on 146 yards for the first time in the history of Cedar Golf Club Swat, said he was proud of his achievement.
Earlier, K-P Golf Association President Brigadier Ijaz Mirza welcomed all the guests and players to the event and said he hoped to organise the event every year.
In the professional category, Mohammad Ashfaq secured first position, Talib Hussain from Islamabad came in second, while Imdad Hussain from Lahore grabbed third place.
In the senior professional category, Ghani Khan from Karachi came first, Mahmood Kyani from Islamabad secured second position and Noor Khan from Peshawar bagged third place.
In the amateurs’ gross category, Tamir Naseer achieved first position, M Rehman was the runner-up and Adnan Khan secured third place. Similarly, in the amateurs’ net category, Fazal Subhan came in first, Akbar Qayum Bukhari came in second and Lieutenant Colonel Nadeem secured third position.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2013.