Afghan golfers focused despite eye-watering cards | Pakistan Today

Afghan golfers focused despite eye-watering cards

GUANGZHOU: Ali Ahmad Fazel returns to Afghanistan Sunday confident in his dream of becoming a professional golfer despite finishing last at the Asian Games, a massive 194 shots off the lead.
The diminutive 19-year-old fired a 40-over-par 112 on Saturday’s fourth and final round, a marked improvement on his opening 58-over par round of 130.
His closing card read an eye-watering 467, well off the winning 273 posted by South Korea’s gold medallist Kim Meen-Whee.
“My goal is to become a professional golfer. I’m not sure how long that will take, maybe five years, but I’ll work and work at it,” promised Fazel.
Doffing a green cap, well-ironed light jeans and a white polo shirt with ‘Kabul Golf Club, Afghanistan’ emblazoned on it, Fazel admitted that the lush settings of the plush Dragon Lafe golf course were not like his home club.
“It’s my first time playing on grass, so I’m happy with my performance,” said the younster, who is currently jobless while waiting to take up a university place.
“When I came here I was not familiar with the playing surface but after three or four days it feels okay. “The more I play on grass, the better I play.”
Mohammad Juma Hekmati, the Afghan national team coach who learnt his golf in Iran eight years ago and plays off a handicap of four, said the Kabul course would soon be changing from its sandy nine holes.
“It’s all sandy and the greens are a mix of oil and sand. There’s no grass, but in two years we’re hoping there will be.
“There are plans afoot to reshape and rebuild the course, which was built by the Afghan government 40 years ago,” but only open to the public since 2004.”
The second Afghan on the team, Hashmattulah Sarwaree, had the pleasure of beating Vietnam’s Tri Dung Nguyen by 18 shots for third-last place thanks to his 404.
He was left positively beaming after nailing three par holes for a personal best back-nine of 44. It could have been so much better if not for two double-bogeys.

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