Lahore, Pakistan: Yashal Shah produced a spectacular final-day birdie barrage to overturn a seven-stroke overnight deficit and claim top honours in the 10th edition of the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship.
While Parkha Ijaz and Damil Attaullah faltered in the closing round at PAF Sky View Golf Club, Shah held firm in the fourth leg of the 2020-21 Faldo Series Asia season.
In an impressive display of attacking golf, Shah snared no fewer than eight birdies in a round that also included five bogeys, one double-bogey and just four pars. It all added up to a one-under-par 71 and a three-day aggregate of six-over 222 for the Karachi Golf Club member.
As well as comfortably winning the Boys’ Under-16 title, Shah ended four strokes clear of Ijaz and Mekayl Maajid in the overall standings.
Thanks to his success, Shah can now look forward to making his Faldo Series Asia Grand Final debut at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô next year.
Joining him at the award-winning Faldo Design venue will be four other age-group winners – Nouman Ilyas (Boys’ Under-21), Maajid (Boys’ Under-18), Ijaz (Girls’ Under-21) and Humna Amjed, who captured the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship’s Girls’ Under-16 title for the fourth year in succession.
There was disappointment, however, for Attaullah who was bidding to retain his Boys’ Under-18 crown and qualify for a fourth Grand Final appearance.
Following back-to-back 74s, he entered the final round with a four-shot lead over Maajid in his age-group category and was second overall, four strokes behind Ijaz.
But a disastrous front-nine of 47 put paid to Attaullah’s hopes. Although he battled back with an inward 37, quadruple-bogeys at the par-five second and par-four ninth holes left him with too much to do.
Ijaz was also left to reflect on a costly late lapse. After a tournament-best five-under 67 on day two, Ijaz remained on top of the leaderboard with just five holes of the final round to play.
Shah, who had been steadily eating into Ijaz’s lead, overhauled her for the first time on the 14th hole. When Ijaz slipped to an eight at the par-four 16th, there was no way back.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo thanked the Pakistan Golf Federation for proceeding with the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event, which attracted a 60-strong field, including players from Karachi, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Kharian.
“With playing opportunities for junior golfers this year having been so limited, I’m grateful to all those involved in ensuring the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship went ahead,” said Sir Nick.
The 2020-21 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.