Fatima Rizvi is set for a date with one of the top 60 players on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai at this year’s DP World Tour Championship Rolex Pro-Am after being crowned the inaugural winner of the 2018 Junior Luckiest Ball on Earth Series at the Grand Final held on Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Sunday 28 October.
A total of 40 junior golfers were invited to the Grand Final after securing their spots through the Emirates Golf Federation Order of Merit but it was 12-year-old Rizvi, who finished first in the Junior Girls Net Order of Merit, that came out the top of the pile as she shot a brilliant Stableford score of 39 points.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with a star of the European Tour in the DP World Tour Championship Pro-Am,” said Rizvi who represented Emirates Golf Club. “I didn’t expect to win but I played some really good iron shots and was straight with my driver which enabled me to post a good score.
“I’ve never been to the DP World Tour Championship before, I’ve only ever watched it on TV when I lived in India and would always dream about playing on the Earth course and now my dreams have come true. I’ve only been in Dubai for a year so this is really special for me. I’d like to send my thanks to the Emirates Golf Federation, Jumeirah Golf Estates and the European Tour for providing me with this amazing opportunity.”
The Rolex Pro-Am on Tuesday 13 November is the curtain raiser to the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship to be held on the iconic Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 15 November to Sunday 18 November. The hotly anticipated Rolex Pro-Am will be contested by 46 teams captained by European Tour professionals including the likes of Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood, Ryder Cup hero Francesco Molinari and defending champion Jon Rahm.
The Junior Luckiest Ball on Earth Grand Final, sanctioned by the Emirates Golf Federation, saw players teeing off from the Signature Tees on Fire course with 15-year-old Liam Mullen of The Els Club finishing runner-up after narrowly missing out on top spot by a point. 16-year-old Asanka White from Trump International, Dubai completed the top three after carding 37 Stableford points.
Nick Tarratt, Director, European Tour International Dubai Office said: “We are delighted with how well our inaugural Junior Luckiest Ball on Earth competition has gone. Fatima is a worthy champion and she will be treated to a once in a lifetime experience by taking part in the prestigious Rolex Pro-Am ahead of the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship. I would also like to send our thanks and appreciation to the UAE’s golf clubs and the Emirates Golf Federation for supporting this rewarding initiative.”
Rizvi will be joined in the ‘Luckiest Ball on Earth’ Pro-Am with the leading male and female player from the Luckiest Ball on Earth Grand final which takes place on Monday, November 5 on the Fire Course.
A total of 21 qualifying events have been held at 21 golf clubs in the UAE with over 1,200 keen golfers vying for the chance to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in golf including the heroes of The Ryder Cup but only two will join a long list of amateurs who have claimed the ‘Luckiest Ball on Earth’ since its inception in 2012.
Arabian Ranches Golf Club member Kevin Barrett of Northern Ireland won the inaugural Luckiest Ball on Earth competition and played alongside Italy’s Ryder Cup icon Edoardo Molinari in the Pro-Am before Italy’s Ornella Parigi of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club became the first female winner in 2012 and lined up with Australia’s Marcus Fraser.
In 2013, former Dubai Creek Lady Captain Maureen Platt earned a place alongside Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen in the Pro-Am while in 2014 Dipesh Makwana came out on top against almost 1,000 hopefuls to be teamed up with Race to Dubai runner-up Danny Willett. In 2015, Jairaj Gorsia from The Track, Meydan was victorious and was given an unforgettable experience in the Pro-Am playing with England’s James Morrison. In 2016 another Saadiyat Beach Golf Club member took home the spoils with Blanca Rivollier, playing with Bradley Dredge.
Last year’s winner Ghazi Aurangzeb’s last minute decision to enter the competition paid off after coming through the qualifier and winning the Grand Final he teed off with France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera at Jumeirah Golf Estates. “I entered the competition on a whim and now I’m the champion,” said Aurangzeb. “I think it’s such a great series and in terms of being an amateur golfer I think this is as good as it gets.”