Date: January 19, 2007
Author: Sportal

Aussies in contention

Sportal Five Australians including Scott Hend and Marcus Both shot a first round 70 to be four off the pace at the Pakistan Open. Kiwi Richard Lee had a 68 to be just two behind leader Muhammed Shabbir with countryman Stephen Scahill just one stroke back. Aussies Mitchell Brown, Shane Baxter and Adam Le Vesconte also carded 70&aposs in the first round of the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, but the day belonged to the local. Having overcome a lower back injury late last year, Shabbir literally looked at home on the Karachi Golf Club, generating six birdies to post a round of 66. “Everything worked out well for me today. My putting and driving were all on target and I am very happy,” he said. “I suffered from severe back pain during the Brunei Open last August. I had close to no golf the past three months and got back to the swing of things only two weeks ago. So I am very pleased to have such an excellent start on home soil.” Defending champion, Englishman Chris Rodgers shot a 69 for a share of ninth place. Leading scores after the first round of the Pakistan Open at Karachi Golf Club (par 72): -6: Muhammad Shabbir -5: Airil Rizman Zahari -4: Vivek Bhandari, Uttam Singh Mundy, Barry Hume, Rahul Ganapathy, Richard Lee (New Zealand), Simon Hurd -3: Stephen Scahill (New Zealand), Aktar Ali, Amardip Malik, Chris Rodgers, Rick Gibson, Yeh Chang-ting, Lin Chien-bing, Jerome Delariarte, Gaganjeet Bhullar Also -2: Scott Hend (Australia), Marcus Both (Australia), Mitchell Brown (Australia), Shane Baxter (Australia), Adam Le Vesconte (Australia)