Qatar National Team player Ali Abdulla Al Bishei claimed top spot in the prestigious Faldo Series Middle East Championship at the Royal Golf Club on a weekend which bore witness to some superb golf on the Club’s challenging Montgomerie championship course.
Al Bishei topped the multinational field of 44 contestants aged 21 and under representing a staggering 16 different nationalities, with rounds of 71 and 73 respectively. He fired an impressive 9 birdies during the 36-hole stroke play event, finishing on a level par 144 for the tournament. Although the 17-year-old held the lead from start to finish, he only knew for sure that the title would be his when he reached the treacherous 15th hole on the final day with a great chip-in birdie which he calmly followed up with three solid pars. This gave Al Bishei a comfortable six shot cushion from his nearest competitor and playing partner, Oscar Spolander. Spolander, who finished on a six over 150, also displayed some fantastic golf over the weekend but ultimately was undone by a treble and two double bogies over the two rounds which proved the vital difference between the two players.
The under-16 boys’ category was won by Slovakia’s Jakub Hrinda who shot rounds of 81 and 78 for a total of 159. This was enough to see off South Korea’s Kim Jung Bin who finished on 163.
In the girls’ section Britain’s Georgia Coughlin won the under-21 category with an overall score of 161 while the under-16 category was won by Kuwait’s talented youngster Julia Alhemoud with an outstanding score of 156. With both girls eligible to compete in their respective categories for the next three years, they are definitely names to watch for the future in this worldwide event.
The action-packed weekend also featured a 9-hole event on the Club’s Wee Monty par 3 course for younger players. Khalifa Al Habal won with 33 leaving Ali Ehab in the runners up spot with just one shot separating them.
Tournament Director Cormac Flannery of the Royal Golf Club said “It was a fantastic weekend of golf with great scoring – it was nice to see a good showing from our own juniors which will give them confidence going into future events. This was a good opportunity for young golfers around the region to experience competitive play on a European Tour standard course and I wish them all the best in their budding golf careers.”
The prizes were presented to the winners by the Royal Golf Club’s 2012 Captain Ebrahim Esbai and all the competitors enjoyed lunch afterwards in the Club’s Majlis function room at the end of the day’s play.
Photo: Ebrahim Esbai (centre) with category winners (l – r) Georgia Coughlin, Julia AlHemoud, Ali Abdulla Al Bishei & Jakub Hrinda