Young John Burki birdied the Par-3 seventeenth hole at the Els Club on Friday to take him and his partner Yves Buchard through to the UAE Final of the Daman Investments International Pairs. An early start saw a record field for the Troon-managed golf club contest this, the thirteenth qualifier for the 2014-15 International Pairs, but it was anything but unlucky for the winning team, whose score of 40 Stableford points saw them home by four points from the partnership of Mark Thompson & Gerhard Pretorius who took runners-up spot on a countback from Jeff Ogden and Scott Turner.
Strong winds and an overcast sky made scoring anything but easy, so it was credit to everyone in the record field that scoring was as high as it was, although the adverse conditions did affect the nearest-the-pin awards where Ead Samawi’s winning shot on the 8th hole was a full two yards from the hole, and that of Yves Buchard on the 11th was another half a yard further away than that.
More credit still then to young John Burki’s shot across the sand to the 17th to rack up the four points that gave his team victory and the first prize of a Taylor Made travel bag which may come in handy if he and Yves Buchard should triumph in the UAE Final in May and go off to represent the UAE in the World Final in Spain.
Steve Rutter of tournament organiser OnCourse Golf gave deserved praise to the participants and to the club for its excellent set up and organisation. The biggest cheer of the day, however, was reserved for title sponsor Daman Investments whose support has made the 2014-15 International Pairs the ebst supported and most keenly contested to date.
The Daman Investments International Pairs is supported by AGMC/BMW, Standard Chartered Bank, Mediclinic, Visa, TaylorMade and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
The next Daman Investments International Pairs qualifier will take place at Jumeriah Golf Estates on 4th April. Club members wishing to participate should enter through their home club.