Foreign pros land in Karachi for biggest golfing event in 11 years


KARACHI: (DNA) –  International golfers from around the world have arrived in big numbers to feature in the UMA-CNS Open Asian Tour Golf Championship which tees off here at the Karachi Golf Club from October 11.Dozens of international professionals have landed in Karachi to compete in the US$300,000 UMA-CNS Open, which would mark the return of the Asian Tour to Pakistan for the first time in 11 years.

Professionals from Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Indonesia, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Philippines, Sweden, Singapore, Korea, USA and several other countries will take part in the championship to be played from October 11-14.

This is the first time Pakistan is hosting an Asian Tour event since 2007.One of the foreign players who featured in that event is India’s seasoned Digvijay Singh. An experienced professional, the 46-year-old arrived in Karachi on Monday (October 8) and said that “it feels like home”.

“This is my third visit to Pakistan as I played in the Asian Tour championships in Karachi in 2006 and 2007. I’ve been waiting for the last 11 years for the Asian Tour to return to Pakistan so that I can come and play here. It’s always a great experience and I feel like I’m playing at home,” said Singh, who has 12 career wins on the Indian Tour. He is one of the nine Indian players competing in the UMA-CNS Open.

A former Asian Tour winner, Singh hoped that sporting events like the UMA-CNS Open would help bridge the gap between Pakistan and India.“I always feel that the people of the two countries love and respect one another. There may be political differences (among the two countries) which I believe can be resolved through various channels and that includes sporting events like the UMA-CNS Open,” he added.

Singh and other visiting professionals have received a warm welcome in Pakistan.Sohail Shams, CEO of United Marine Agencies, was confident that the visiting players and Asian Tour officials would leave with lasting memories of Pakistan.

“UMA welcomes our foreign guests, players and Asian Tour officials, to Pakistan. It is a momentous occasion for us that international golfers have come to participate in UMA CNS Open Asian Tour Golf Championship,” commented Shams, himself an avid golfer.

“I hope you will have a great time in Pakistan and enjoy our culture, our hospitality and find out for yourself that we are a sports loving nation. I’m sure you will always cherish the fond memories of enjoying golf in Pakistan. May the best man win. Our support and best wishes are with you all the way,” he added.

The championship will be preceded by an 18-hole Pro-Am event on October 11. Participating professionals would team up with local amateurs and invitees in the much-anticipated contest.