This coming weekend welcomes one of the most hotly anticipated local golfing events of the season as the Dubai Golf Trophy returns.
During this annual event the 16 leading UAE based PGA Professionals and the leading 16 Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) Amateur golfers will go head to head in a Ryder Cup style showdown in a bid to be crowned champions in the sixteenth edition of the Dubai Golf Trophy.
The event originally started as a social season ending tournament in 2000 at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. Since then the event has grown in popularity and prestige and is now one of the highlights of the local golfing calendar for professionals and amateurs alike. This year’s event takes place on 16th May on the championship course at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, followed by round two on the 17th May on the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club.
In 2014 the Professionals were dominant and secured an impressive victory with a final event score of 18.5 to 12.5, which means that they have now taken home the past seven trophies. This brings the total victories for the professionals to thirteen wins against the Amateurs two, having claimed victory in 2005 and 2007.
The Amateur team this year makes for exciting reading, six of the players are under 18 years of age, the youngest player, 15 year old Rayhan Thomas is playing in his third Dubai Golf Trophy, having won all of his previous six matches in the event and he looks like a key player for the Amateurs as he comes into the competition on the back of a golden winning streak which has seen him collect numerous trophies over the past season, including the overall Order of Merit. The amateur team is made up of players from all over the globe, with golfers from the United Arab Emirates, India, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada, America, New Zealand and Sweden all hoping that they can reclaim the trophy.
Chris Alderman, the 2015 Amateur Vice Captain is only too well aware that the statistics are heavily in favour of the Professionals, having played in two previous tournaments, however he remains positive that 2015 can be the Amateurs year. Chris believes that the enthusiasm and team spirit combined with the balance of experience and young first timers can secure the title, he commented. “This is the strongest Amateur team that I have seen in the Dubai Golf Trophy, we have a fantastic mix of experience and young talent and preparations for the tournament have been extremely positive. As a team we have spent a long time working together on our strategy and pairings as I believe that a combination of planning, enthusiasm and talent are what make us a force to be reckoned with during this year’s event. There is a real passion between the team to bring the trophy back to the Amateur team and I think we have the players and desire to achieve that this year”.
The Professional’s captain for 2015 is Callum Nicoll who recently secured the prestigious 2015 UAE PGA Championship, he commented, “The Dubai Golf Trophy is a great event for the region and both the professionals and amateurs see the event as one of the highlights of the local golfing calendar. It is a great honour to captain this year’s Professional Team, I have been on the winning side three times now and am looking forward to another exciting event in 2015. The event is always very competitive and the Amateur Team looks strong this year, however we have a great team of professionals playing and we are now looking forward to getting things underway on Saturday at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.”
Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Golf has been closely involved with the event since it started in 2000. He commented that “The Dubai Golf Trophy is a superb event to be a part of, there is always a very competitive spirit between the two teams which leads to some interesting competition and results. The Professionals really have dominated in recent years, however the 2015 Amateur team looks to be one of the strongest that I have seen. The purpose of the Dubai Golf Trophy is to raise the profile of golf in the region and to bring players from clubs all over the UAE together. Qualifying for this end of season tournament is a great achievement for the golfers involved, it is superb to see six players under 18 years of age in the Amateur team this year and the global representation within the team. We are all anticipating an exciting two days of competition ahead.”
Callum Nicoll – The Els Club
Matthew Naylor – DG Golf Dubai
David Gray – DG Golf Dubai
Anthony Buchanan – Yas Links
Josh Taylor – Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Steven Munro – UAE PGA
Martyn Hamer – Yas Links
Phil Waine – Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Brendan O’Leary – Pro Sports
Malcolm Young – Arabian Ranches
Ryan Smith – The Montgomerie Dubai
Tom Buchanan – Al Ain
Mark Ruddy – Sharjah GC
Joe Marshall – Sharjah GC
Gavin Sutherland – Al Badia
David Blackadder – Jumeirah Golf Estates
Abdulla Al Musharrekh
Sidney De Souza