Othman Almulla will compete in his second European Tour event of the month when the Oman Open kicks off tomorrow (Thursday 28) and Saudi’s first professional golfer is determined to not just make up the numbers at the stunning Al Mouj Golf.
The 32 year old will join the likes of defending champion Joost Luiten, 2018 winning Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and Oman’s No.1 amateur and good friend Azaan Al Rumhy in the Sultanate after receiving an invitation to play from event promoters, the Oman Golf Committee.
“Azaan is one of my closest and dearest friends so I spoke with him about participating in the tournament and from that conversation the Oman Golf Committee sent me an invitation which was nice,” said Almulla. “I think it’s important for the GCC countries to support each other in golf and give the guys opportunities to play in these events.
“It still feels like I’m living a dream when competing in such prestigious tournaments but I want to do something to make myself and my country proud. If I can give myself a chance to make the cut that will be a surreal week for me. If I play the golf that I can play I know I’m good enough to be out there. I’m not here just to make up the numbers; I want to be competing with these guys week in week out so hopefully I can put myself in a position to do that.”
Almulla’s first professional start came at the ground-breaking Saudi International powered by SBIA, the first-ever European Tour event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which featured the top three players on the Official World Golf Ranking. Despite missing the cut at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Almulla, was delighted to be a part of history in the Kingdom and help inspire the next generation.
“The Saudi International went way beyond expectations for me,” he said. “Obviously the scoring didn’t reflect the level where I want to be but it was one week where the scoring wasn’t as important for me. It was all about inspiring people and putting smiles on kids face. It’s such an honorable thing to inspire the future generation to do something and if I have a little part to play then I’m happy to do it.”
As well as being an inspiration to youngsters in Saudi, Almulla, was delighted at the thought of being a role model for junior golfers across the Middle East as he took part in a clinic with the Oman Junior Team before the Oman Open.
“I can’t tell you how heartwarming it is to see kids looking up to you as a role model for golf in the region. The kids at the clinic were really happy to see me. They will watch some of the best players in the world compete this week but for them to also keep an eye out for me and Azaan is a great thing and something that I didn’t have when growing up.”
Almulla tees off at 12:20 (AST) on Thursday 28 February with Denmark’s Kristoffer Reitan and Englishman Scott Gregory.