Muhammad Nazir, who won the 42nd Pakistan Open Golf Championship this Sunday, is now looking forward to making his presence felt aboard, especially on the lucrative Asian Tour.
“I know that I have it in me to do well in golf events abroad,” Nazir was quoted as saying. “Having won Pakistan’s biggest golf tournament, I believe I have the game and the confidence to win international laurels for my country,” he stressed.
Nazir has been playing golf for more than a decade but it’s only since last year that he has proved himself as one of the most consistent players on the national circuit.
For the Islamabad golfer, the big change came when Ufone – his long-time sponsors – decided to send him for a training session in the United States last year.
Nazir attended a United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF) training session in March 2012 and that experience seems to have changed him as a golfer.
Before March, Nazir was ranked 13th in Pakistan but since then he has climbed up the rankings’ ladder and is now placed at number 4 just behind Pakistan No 1 Shabbir Iqbal, Matlood Ahmed and Muhammad Munir.
In the five tournaments prior to the Pakistan Open, Nazir claimed the Bank Al-Habib title in Karachi, finished second in both the Punjab Open in Gujrat and Crescent Cup in Faisalabad. Since his return from the US, Nazir has finished among the top ten in all the events he has taken part in.
“Having a sponsor who is ready to support you all the way makes a huge difference for a player,” says Nazir. “For me Ufone’s support is vital because without it I was just struggling. I’m sure that with their support I would do even better in the future”
Nazir is not the only golfer being sponsored by Ufone. Since February last year, the company has been backing several golfers including Shabbir Iqbal (Pakistan No.1), Matloob Ahmed (Pakistan No.2), Muhammad Munir (Pakistan No.3) and Muhammad Nazir (Pakistan No.4). It has also signed on six other upcoming players who have the talent to become top class professionals.
Ufone has been supporting Golf for over a decade now. It is certainly a huge initiative in a cricket-mad country where sports like golf seldom attract the attention of commercial organisations.
Salman Wassay, Chief Commercial Officer Ufone, believes his company’s investment in Pakistan golf would pay off.
“Being a Pakistani Telecom company we take pride in supporting and developing sports activities and to nurture the talented youth of the country. Golf is an upcoming sport in Pakistan and we envision that our commitment to the sport will help bring in results that will lead to international acclaim,” Wassay said.