The Asia Pacific Golf Confederation’s most high-profile event has concluded after an intense competition and a three way play off. The spectators, media, organizers and players were jubilant watching Jasper Stubbs, a player from the neighborhood emerging as a champion. Stubbs came from behind to claim the title.
The playoff was among the three players China’s Wenyi Ding, Sampson Zheng and the local favorite Stubbs, who started 6 strokes behind Zheng the third-round leader but used his experience in the Sandbelt and dealing with the blustery wind conditions to card a two-under-par round of 69 and finished with a one-over-par total of 285 for the Championship. Stubbs is the 4th Australian to become ACC champion, winning a place in the upcoming 2024, The Open and The Masters. The dream of every Amateur Golfer.
TARS qualified, Munazza Shaheen, first Lady Referee from Pakistan was one of the championship referees, who were honoured by being invited by R&A, Scotland to referee the prestigious event. While expressing her gratitude to be part of this magnanimous event, she entails her refereeing experience at APGC Men Amateur Championship, saying, “It was a steep learning curve, the detailed thorough and meticulous planning and execution of the event has taught her not only the organization and communication skills but above all the importance of knowing your rules well and delivering it to player in a way that he/she is satisfied and know that all referees are completely impartial and truly fair in all their decisions.
For them, the quality of the event is directly proportional to the professional attitude of the organizing committee and good refereeing is the soul of it,” she added.
R&A, Rules Academy prides itself in running Golf Rules Programs for training, inspiring referees, who chose to attend the TARS seminar, at St Andrews, Scotland. The institution also takes upon itself to provide opportunities for the freshmen/women to referee tournaments under the supervision of experienced senior referees.
Grant Moir, the Executive Director – Governance, at R&A was very optimistic about Munazza’s capabilities, elaborating, “It’s great when we have people come through the levels and be given the opportunity to referee at an international event like this and this in itself is a great opportunity to learn from the experienced referees who are here. I’m sure Munazza will take an awful lot from this. Hopefully, she is going back with a lot more knowledge, experience and ideas that she can put into practice back home in Pakistan.”
Munazza Shaheen’s refereeing colleagues, who came from different countries including China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, expressed that there are many in their countries who have been refereeing for years aren’t yet invited to this event, and she is getting this invitation within 8 months of her Level 3 Certification is a big achievement.
Munazza, in an acknowledgment statement, stated, “The prestigious international experience would not have been gained without the wholehearted support of my family. I am grateful to Mr. Taimur Hassan, President APGC, who was respected and was well received by other officials, for extending all possible facilitation. Col Zahid, who has always been there to guide and advise me.”
She expressed, “Dr. Asma Shami is my mentor, I derive all my strength from her, and she was with me in spirit every step of the way, both on and off the golf course. I am highly grateful to her. She also stated, “I had the pleasure of meeting Brig Sajjad Akram, Secretary PGF, who acknowledged my success inducing hard work and assured me that PGF will continue to facilitate and promote my efforts. I feel humbled and expressed my gratitude to PGF who has been in full support of all the achievements so far!
Pakistan is a land full of talent, given opportunities, the talent blooms and it is individuals like Munazza Shaheen, who play a vital role in projecting Pakistan, particularly the soft image of Pakistan to the outside world