Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club hosted the first EGF order of merit event of 2013 recently, the OMEGA Dubai Creek Men’s Amateur Open. It is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year and attracts the top amateur players throughout the region. This year proved to be no exception with a full field of over 102 players competing in the 36-hole stroke-play format.
The stunning creek-side course was in fantastic condition and the players found the greens slick and the winter rough punishing. After play on day one the standings in the clubhouse were very tight with just five shots separating the top twelve players. Englishman Chris Cornwall was the top performer scoring a solid level par round of 71 which gave him a one shot lead over UAE amateur No. 1 Michael Harradine, and Emirates Golf Club member Nicola Angelastri. With the standings being so tight, the final round was sure to provide some drama with a host of players still in with a chance of winning on the unforgiving and unpredictable course.
The players arrived at the course on Saturday for the final round facing difficult windy conditions. The final group of Cornwall, Harradine, and Angelastri began their round with just one shot between them. In the front nine Harradine showed why he is the No. 1 ranked amateur player by moving away from Angelastri and passing Cornwall also. Things stayed very tight at the top but continued to chop and change with each of the top three taking the outright lead at some point. After making back to back birdies on the 14 & 15 holes Cornwall stood on the 17th with a two shot lead over his two playing partners. He found the water with his tee shot but held his nerve and managed to come away with a bogey to take a one shot lead going into the final hole. The traitorous 18th hole at the Dubai Creek always provides a dramatic finish and this was no exception as Harradine and Cornwall found the water off the tee whilst Angelastri stayed dry but was in the sand. Harradine played first and showed good course management by laying up short of the water. Angelastri however had different ideas. He took on a brave shot from the sandy waste but pulled and finished wet in the Creek.
Cornwall took his drop and played a good mid-iron shot into the wind to the middle of the green. Harradine played a good wedge shot to 15 feet and Angelastri followed. By this time a crowd had gathered at the back of the 18th to watch this exciting finale. Cornwall hit a very good long putt up the green and finished just 3 feet away. Harradine and Angealstri both missed their bogey attempts which left Cornwall with two putts for the title. After a couple of quick nervy taps Cornwall was the champion on by one stroke with a 5-over par 36-hole total of 147. After being presented his prize Cornwall commented; “I would like to say what an honour it is to win such a prestigious golf tournament. Playing with two great players like Michael and Nicola in the final round was a lot of fun. The ebbs and flows of the game meaning we all had the lead at one point set up an exciting finish, which made coming out on top even more satisfying. With five to play I was two back and fighting to stay in the tournament, then I knocked it in close on 14 & 15 for back-to-back birdies which meant standing on 17th tee I was two which helped me just make it over the line. A big thank you to everyone involved in the event – a truly memorable weekend.”
In the end there was a three way tie for the runner-up spot and it was Creek member Mark Williams who won on a count-back after a second round 74. Angealstri took third place over Harradine on a better back nine holes of the final round and it was Ryan Riley who completed the top five on 150.
Emirates Golf Club member Sheikh Imran Qayyum took the overall net prize with a two day total of 2-under par 140. Just one shot back was EGF member Jonathan Jeffrey, who’s two rounds of net 68 & 73 for a total of 141 secured him 2nd place. Michael Robson took the overall 3rd place net prize for his 2 rounds of net 76 & 70.
Omega Vice President and International Sales Director Mr. Raynald Aeschlimann commented; “All of us at OMEGA are thrilled to be involved in this event again this year and we hope that this successful partnership can carry on for many years to come. It has been another successful event and we would like to thank everyone involved with the OMEGA Dubai Creek Men’s Amateur Open for helping raise the profile of golf in this region. Once again thank you and I can safely say that everyone here at OMEGA is grateful to have had the chance to be associated with events such as this along with the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic and the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Masters.”