Golf team recivers boost from abroad

After losing four starting seniors from last year’s state-qualifying team, the Ames High boys golf squad certainly had spots to fill on the ’09 varsity lineup. With the addition of returning seniors T Sanders and Kyle Martin, the 6-man starting roster was quickly showing promise. However, the newest addition to this year’s team didn’t arrive from Ames, let alone the U.S. Moving to Iowa from Pakistan in early May of this year, sophomore Mubariz Ahmad looks to use his talented golfing to boost an already promising lineup. Before moving to Pakistan when he was four, Mubariz lived in Michigan. After close to eight years in Pakistan, Mubariz and his father moved back to the U.S due to a job offer. Though his mother and three siblings remained in Pakistan, Mubariz tagged along with his father for the sake of playing golf. "The main reason in me coming to America with my dad was to improve my golf over here." Mubariz said. Though today a skilled and avid golfer, Mubariz’s initiation into the world of golf was all but a storybook Tiger Woods story. "When I was nine I used to be addicted to cricket and play it all day long," Mubariz said. "But my parents thought cricket was a time wasting sport, and so one day, my dad took me to the driving range. At first, I wasn’t interested but after a while I really liked it." Though Mubariz gained interest in golf, he had trouble recieving adequate coaching. "In Pakistan there was no formal system of coaching," Mubariz said. "I mainly practiced on my own but also recieved four lessons from a PGA professional [Daniel Hemingway] who was visting from England." As Mubariz practiced more and more, recognition followed. His dedication to golf is reflected in not only his decision to leave his home in Pakistan, but also by the many accomplishments he has achieved while playing the game. "I’ve been in quite a lot of tournaments," Mubariz said. “I played in about forty and won close to twenty-five of them." Along with winning numerous tournaments, Mubariz was also crowned the junior golf champion of Pakistan, adding to his already impressive resume. Mubariz attributes his success to his balanced playing style, "I try to do a little bit of both: be aggressive at times but also play conservative" Mubariz said. Mubariz has quickly fit into the varsity lineup and has come to enjoy the atmosphere on the golf team, "The guys are pretty good [golf players]," Mubariz said. "They’re nice, friendly, and funny, and I’m having fun." Taking no delay in contributing to the team, Mubariz scored the lowest score of 73 which helped Ames grasp first place at an invitational in Fort Dodge and also earned Mubariz the title of meet medalist. Mubariz has high expectations for himself in the coming golf season, "If I had an overall goal it would be to finish in the top five [state rank] individually by the end of the season." Mubariz’s obvious talent is already making a good lineup even better, and his teams are readily welcoming his presence, “The skill that Mubariz brings makes not only the team but all of us individually better” senior golfer T Sanders said. However, there is a bit of bad news. Mubariz plans to stay in Ames only until March 2010, during which time he plans to move back to Pakistan and live there with his family until college. "Unfortunately I’m only here for one year, and then I’m going back to Pakistan," Mubariz said. "I plan to keep in touch with Coach [Voss] and hopefully earn a scholarship for college in the U.S." Earning a scholarship to play golf in college plays a large part in Mubariz’s main goal of someday becoming a professional golfer, "I would love to someday be a professional PGA golfer," Mubariz said. "However I would also like to be a charting accountant as well if golf doesn’t work." Mubariz always works hard to further improve his golf game. "I took some lessons at The Country Club this summer and played in some tournaments which gave a big boost to my game." he said. Although Mubariz can contribute to the team for only this season alone, he is taking full advantage of his time in America while doing his best to contribute to the team, "I want to be efficient and help the team win a state championship while I’m here."