Omar Khalid emerges as top Pakistani in world golf rankings


College student joins top-ten in the world among players 17 or younger

Fast-rising youngster Omar Khalid has emerged as Pakistan’s highest-ranked player in the World Ama-teur Golf Rankings (WAGR) leapfrogging to a ca-reer-best No. 296 internationally.

Omar, a 17-year-old A levels student at Kara-chi’s Nixor College, recently won back-to-back amateur titles at the prestigious Pakistan Open and Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Open — two of the coun-try’s major golf tournaments. He was duly rewarded for his convincing twin triumphs, jumping from 378 to 296 in the latest world rankings issued on Wednesday. This means he is now Pakistan’s best-ranked player in the world surpassing Lahore’s sea-soned Salman Jahangir, who is placed at No.354.

Omar, who at 16 became the youngest ever winner of the National Amateur Golf Championship last year, is now the youngest Pakistan No.1.

He has claimed another honour by becoming the first Pakistani to join the top-ten in the world among players, who are 17 years old or younger in the WAGR. Among all Asian players, he is ranked 32.

His ascent in the world rankings has been phe-nomenal considering that Omar just made his entry on WAGR for the first time 13 months ago after winning the National Amateurs.

One of this season’s high points for Omar came at the Faldo Series Pakistan Championship at the wind-swept Airmen Golf Club in Karachi where he won by a record margin of 27 strokes, earning high praise from the likes of six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo. “Congratulations to Omar. To win so comprehensively is impressive,” the legendary Faldo said in his message.

Omar is now targetting a place among the top-100 in the world but stresses that the only way he can do it is by playing WAGR events abroad.

“It was great to play a series of WAGR events in Paki-stan but the season is over now and for me and other Pakistani players to progress further (in the rank-ings) we need to take part in world-ranking tourna-ments abroad,” Omar said.

Spearheaded by Omar, Pakistani players have been making rapid progress in WAGR in recent times.

Other Pakistanis in WAGR alongside Omar and Salman are: Yahshal Shah (480), Saim Shazli (670), Taimur Malik (759), Umar Khokhar (1280), Damil Ataullah (1298), Nouman Ilyas (4186), Arsalan Shikoh (4604), Ahmed Zafar Hayat (4611) and Omar Shikoh (4779).—APP


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