Munir crowned new Sindh Open golf champion

KARACHI: Former Pakistan champion Mohammad Munir on Sunday fired a warning to the country’s top professionals that he is still a force to reckon with when he won the Sindh Open Golf Championship here at the Arabian Sea Country Club. Munir, who was ahead of the pack during the entire three-day championship, clinched the title with an enviable ease in spite of firing a par round of 72 in the final round. But even such a routine display was enough to help the seasoned Islamabad golfer to win the title by five shots — a result that has boosted Munir’s morale.

“It is a great win for me and has just come at the right time,” Munir told media at the picturesque ASCC. “I was high on confidence during the entire event and the fact that I had a big lead ahead of the final round meant that there wasn’t any pressure on me in the final round,” he added.It was Munir’s first major title in Karachi in two years and was mainly a result of back-to-back scores of 66 and 67 on the first two days of the Rs 1.2 million championship staged by the Sindh Golf Association (SGA).

Munir began the final round six shot ahead of the pack but more importantly he had a huge nine-shot lead over Shabbir Iqbal, the reigning Pakistan number one. “Shabbir is the most dangerous rival you can have on the professional circuit in Pakistan,” said Munir who finished with an aggregate of 11-under par 205. “But a nine-shot lead meant that I was pretty safe.” Munir had to brave some really windy conditions on his way to the title. He had a birdie and a bogey on the final day. Ansar Mahmood finished as the runner-up with rounds of 66-72-72 to finish the 54-hole event with an aggregate of 210.

Shabbir, who was looking for his fourth successive crown in the Sindh Open, finished third. He fired five birdies and three bogeys on the final day. Aurengzeb Khan played the best round of 69 on the final day with six birdies and two bogeys. Ghani Khan of KGC retained the seniors professionals’ title. Sajid Khan completed a double in the amateur category. After winning the CNS title, he won the Sindh amateur with a total of 228, with rounds of 76-77-75. Parvez Ansari won the seniors amateur net event and Sultan Mahmood was runner-up. Asad IA Khan won the seniors amateur gross competition. Munir received the glittering trophy with cash prize of Rs153,200 while Ansar received the runner-up trophy with a cash purse of Rs103, 000. – Dailytimes