UAE national team golfers' lifetime playing experience at Challenge Tour grand final

Sport360 staff 14:43 29/10/2018
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Four UAE national team golfers will enjoy a once in a lifetime playing experience at the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour grand final next month.

They will go head-to-head at the stunning Al Hamra Golf Club in the Ras Al Khaimah National Matchplay Challenge, being played on the second day of the season-ending tournament, November 1.

The two teams competing will be made up of one senior and one junior national team player with Saif Thabet (Abu Dhabi) and 14-year-old Obaid Al Heloo (Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club) taking on Ahmed Skaik (Address Montgomerie) and 16-year-old Rashid Al Emadi (Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club) in the 18 hole betterball matchplay gross event.

Scratch golfers Thabet and Skaik both recently impressed at the 38th Pan Arab Golf Championship for the UAE team where they finished fourth out of 12 countries while Skaik secured a highly impressive fifth in the individual category.

Junior golfers Al Heloo and Al Emadi will also be representing the country in two week’s time as the two make their way to Morocco for the Junior Pan Arab Golf Championship.

“It’s going to be a great experience playing on the same course as the Challenge Tour stars,” said Al Heloo.

Al Hamra Golf Club.

Al Hamra Golf Club.

“It will be nice to watch them play first hand and learn how they approach the golf course before we get our Ras Al Khaimah National Matchplay Challenge underway on Thursday.”

The four golfers will be in for a stern challenge as they play the same course setup as the next generation of golfing stars and are set to be treated to the best-conditioned course to date after all 40 course bunkers were renovated; fairway contours reinstated, tee complexes realigned and greens expanded following recommendations from world-renowned golf course architect Peter Harradine earlier this year.

The Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour grand final, which is only open to the top 45 golfers on the 2018 Road to Ras Al Khaimah, will take place from Wednesday, October 31, to Saturday, November 3, with players looking to secure one of the 15 coveted European Tour cards available for next season which are awarded to the top 15 players in the rankings following the conclusion of play.

Khalid Mubarak Al Shamsi, secretary general of the Emirates Golf Federation said: “To have the Ras Al Khaimah National Matchplay Challenge as part of the Challenge Tour grand final is a great opportunity for our nationaltTeam players.

“It will give our players the chance to see and play alongside some of the world’s future stars. The Emirates Golf Federation would like to thank the Challenge Tour and its officials for assisting us with this match. We are looking forward to seeing who comes out on top of both events”

The Ras Al Khaimah National Matchplay Challenge will tee off at 11:20 on Thursday, November 1, 30 minutes after the final Challenge Tour group, with the winning team being invited back on the final day to receive their trophies.

“This is another exciting local initiative that will help grow the game of golf in the region,” said Nick Tarratt, Director, European Tour Dubai Office.

“When events like the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour grand final come to town we want to help out the local community instead of just being a visiting circus for a week.

“This initiative between the European Challenge Tour and the Emirates Golf Federation will be a rewarding and unforgettable experience for all four UAE national golfers and we hope that one day one of them will be competing for European Tour playing privileges at the season-ending event on the Challenge Tour calendar.”

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