By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Oct 21 (APP): Salman Jehangir and Muhammad Umar Khokhar will represent Pakistan at Asia Pacific Golf 2021 at 12th Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Championship (AAC) being played from 3 November to 6 2021 at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.
The 2020 AAC was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this 2021 championship marks the first edition to be held in the UAE. UAE is one of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) 42 member countries which is already known for hosting numerous professional and amateur events including the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic and DP World Tour Championship.
And while mere participation is a huge honor for the country and these two young aspirants, expectations are that both Salman and Umer have the technique, flair and artistry to illuminate in this Asia Pacific Event. Their selection is attributable to multiple illuminating performances in national golf championships encompassed in the Pakistan Golf Federation Annual Golf Calendar.
Umer Khokher’s accomplishments engirdle a remarkable top ten finish at the Pakistan Open Golf Championship 2020. His form has been exceptional over the past years and enabled him to achieve victories in Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa Amateur 2020 followed by another celebrated triumph in the Chairman WAPDA Golf Championship 2020. If we travel a few years back to 2018 Umer Khokher stunned all by making the cut at the Asian Development Tour Pakistan Open in 2018, this international event was held at the much heralded Defense Raya Golf and Country Club Golf Course in Lahore.
For this performance, he was awarded the silver medal and besides this distinction he gained valuable experience by playing alongside notable names of Asian Development Tour. His international outings have been several and mainly in Thailand and China. Umer ascribes his passion for golf to the achievements of his father I.N.Khokher who represented the country numerous times from 1985 to 1999.
Salman Jehangir earned his top amateur ranking through exultant performances in National Amateur Golf Championship of Pakistan 2020, KPK Amateur, Punjab Open Golf Championship 2020, Prime Minister Open Golf Championship 2020, Pakistan Open Golf and COAS Golf Championship.
Family wise Salman belongs to a leading golf family and while his two elder brothers are professional golf players his father enjoyed a good standing among golfers a couple of years back. In developing himself as a golfer of merit he owes a debt of gratitude to his father Jehangir Aziz who endorsed his passion for golf through extensive and all embracing backing including huge finances.
In the world amateur rankings Salman Jehangir is placed at 1645 and Umer Khokher at 1200.
As part of the preparation for this grand event, Salman and Umer will be allowed two practice rounds at the Dubai Creek’s Championship Course that features an 18-hole, par-71 layout originally designed by Karl Litten before its redesign in 2004 led by Thomas Bjorn.
The course has previously hosted the 1999 and 2000 Dubai Desert Classic and the Mena Tour’s Dubai Creek Open. Most recently, Dubai Creek hosted The Dubai Championship on the World Amateur Tour last December.
The country hopes, Salman and Umer also have to keep in mind the fact that they will be up against players like China’s Lin Yuxin, winner of the AAC in 2017 and 2019and he aims to become the first three-time winner of the championship. Also there will be Japanese World number one Keita Nakajima and quite a few others.
Meanwhile, Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasmi, Chairman of Emirates Golf Federation stated that “After being part of the AAC for many years as a member of the APGC, we are excited to welcome this prestigious championship to the UAE for the first time” .
“This opportunity means a great deal to the Asia-Pacific’s many talented amateurs. We are honored to support the APGC, the Masters Tournament and The R&A in their efforts to conduct a safe event and advance our shared mission of spurring golf’s growth and development.”
In conclusion it would be pertinent to highlight that Taimur Hassan Amin of Pakistan who is currently Chairman of Asia Pacific Golf Confederation underscored the importance of this event as a platform for the game’s development and rising talent in the region.