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LAHORE: An upcoming lad of Pakistan Ahmed Baig became the first Pakistani golfer to emerge as winner of the Nick Faldo Series Asia Under-21 Championship in Vietnam, according to information received here on Saturday.

On the last third day of the event, Ahmad produced another excellent card of four-under-par 68 to make three-day aggregate 207, six-under-par to come first. He earned the most economic score of five-under-67 on the first day and at par-72 on the second. And when Nathen Tan (Singapore) Sukra Rai (Nepal) were on Ahmed’s knee with the different of only three strokes, Ahmad proved himself a strong nerves man, as he produced a shining card of four four-under to leave behind all his rivals.

During his three-day fight, Ahmad was up against the challenge of the Laguna Lang Championship Course which has excellent fairways and true greens and of course the sharp competition triggered by outstanding golfers from Australia, Japan, Taipei, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Nearest challengers were Nathen Tan (Sing­apore), Hayato Yoshida (Japan), Kevin Caesario (Indo­nesia), Sukra Rai (Nepal) and Jordan Garner (Australia).

Talking over the phone Ahmed Baig said: “I remained calm on every shot and not once did I think of how fiercely the other competitors are playing. Certainly my training at the Defence Raya Golf Course in Lahore paid off and helped me to curb nervousness and I hope everyone in Pakistan will be happy, in particular my mentor retired Brig R.M. Bajwa, the management at Garrison Golf Course, Punjab Golf Association and the Pakistan Golf Federation.”

By virtue of this victory, Ahmed gets an opportunity to participate in the Faldo Series European Tour final and this is bound to provide a boost for golf in Pakistan.

In the race for honors in age category under 18 years , M.Saqib of Pakistan ended up at the sixth position with rounds of 78,71 and 77 while in age category under 16 years the young one Damil Ataullah finished in 19th position. As for the girls Aania Farooq came 11th and Humna Amjad came 20th.While Aania Farooq has been impressive, Humna did not impress.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2018