KARACHI: Mohammad Munir and Shabbir Iqbal claimed the first-round lead at the Sindh Open Golf Championship, the duo firing 67 each here at the Arabian Sea Country Club on Friday.
That gave them a one-shot lead over Taimoor Khan and Khalid Khan and a two-stroke advantage over a group of three golfers including defending champion Ahmed Baig, Talat Ijaz and Mohammad Khalid.
“I’m happy with my showing overall even if I feel my putting wasn’t that good in the end,” Ahmed, who hit five birdies, told Dharti News.
Munir started off with a bogey, but then at the end of the front nine he reeled off four consecutive birdies. On the 13th, he had another bogey, but then hit back on the 15th, 16th and 18th holes with birdies to take a share of the lead.
With birdies on the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes, Shabbir made a good start. On the back nine, he couldn’t keep up the hot putter, making only one birdie on the 14th that cancelled out the 10th bogey.
In his bogey-free round, Taimoor struck four birdies while Khalid Khan scored five birdies in his 68.
In a group of golfers at 70, Imran Ali Khan, Mohammad Alam and Ansar Mehmood were a shot adrift with a group of 13 golfers, including Matloob Ahmed and Waheed Baloch.
A further 12 golfers struck a 72.
“Many golfers are very closely grouped, so it will be very interesting for the next two days,” Matloob told Dharti News, adding that he was “not very happy” with his putting.
Shahzad Khan and Abdul Wasif are tied at the top of the junior professional competition on 74, a shot ahead of Akash Bashir and Faizan Ali.
To take the lead in the group of senior professionals, Tahir Naseem fired a 70, keeping a one-shot edge ahead of Nasir Hussain and Mohammad Javed.
Sameer Sayeed scored a 75 in the amateurs’ contest to take a three-shot lead over Waqas Burki and Saim Shazli at the end of the first 18 holes.