Faldo Keeping Close Eye on Pakistani Progress

Damil Ataullah is among the pre-tournament favourites at this week’s Faldo Series Pakistan Championship.

Karachi, Pakistan: Sir Nick Faldo will be keeping close tabs on the leading players at this week’s ninth Faldo Series Pakistan Championship.

While Damil Ataullah and Humna Amjed are expected to challenge for honours, six-time Major champion Sir Nick is keen to monitor the progress of all participants at the Defence Authority Country and Golf Club in the 14th event of the 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season.

Sir Nick and his Faldo Design firm are in the process of delivering a signature golf course on the property of a high-end residential community in Multan.

Sir Nick is passionate about the Rumanza Golf Course project that he hopes and believes will play a pivotal role in raising golfing standards as well as the popularity of the sport in the cricket-mad country. He made his second visit to Multan last November to review construction and provide design inputs and was pleased with the progress that is being made.

Currently, there are less than 50 golf courses in Pakistan and barely 13,000 registered golfers.

Sir Nick said: “There is a real energy and inspiration when you design a course in a new golf market as the layers of opportunity are plenty. This course will not only represent a new recreation and lifestyle property in Pakistan but also a true opportunity for our sport.

“Together with our Defence Housing Authority partners, we are seeking to build a course that will set a new standard for golf in Pakistan. It could help to produce Tour pros from Pakistan in years to come. It will also help to bring new players into the game while providing an exciting and memorable challenge for all golfers who play the course. 

“It will also be the first GEO Certified golf course development in Pakistan. In such a young golf market this project will set the standard for sustainable golf development in the country.”

While the Pakistan Golf Federation has high hopes for the future golfing prospects of Ataullah and Amjed, the teenage duo’s focus is very much on the present – and securing a return passage to the 14th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô from March 4-6.

For the past couple of years, Ataullah has been identified as one of his country’s most promising juniors, chosen to represent Pakistan in a handful of international tournaments.

He’s a two-time winner of the Boys’ Under-16 title at the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship, but is likely to be further extended this year, now he’s among the Under-18s.

Like Ataullah, Humna is bidding for a third successive age group victory in the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship. And like Ataullah, she’s keen to give a better account of herself if she makes it through to the Grand Final.

Last year at Laguna Lăng Cô, Ataullah tied for 11th in the Boys’ Under-16s, while Humna replicated that performance among the Girls’ Under-16s.

Salman Ali Sabir Abbasi, Manager of the Pakistan Golf Federation, predicts some fresh faces to make their mark on home soil this week. “We’re expecting new talent to emerge among the boys and the girls,” he said.

The 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.

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