Manish Bakshi claims top honours at OMA Emirates Monthly Medal

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Medal winner Manish Bakshi (l) with club captain Walid Al Attar.

Bakshi’s score saw him topping the B Division by three shots from Sekhar Reddy in the May medal event, with Craig Dunn a shot further back in third.

Christian Klynge edged to a slender victory in Division A, recording a two-under-par net 70 to edge out Joe Smith on a countback, with Qamar Rasheed third after returning a 71.

More than 70 players were in action on the Majlis course, and Jan Hooftman topped the C Division with a level par net 72 in an event which was part of the official Order of Merit to send 36 qualifiers into January 2017’s Grand Final.

Eleven-year-old Arjun Gupta produced a sparkling performance to win the best gross prize, recording a dazzling one-under par 71 containing 13 pars, three birdies and just two dropped shots.

The Emirates Golf Club qualifiers for the Grand Final will be joined by another 36 qualifiers from the monthly medal series at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club.

Porsche sponsor the event.

Porsche sponsor the event.

Each of the monthly medal events features a Porsche Centre Dubai nearest-the-pin competition, and Allan Cross became the second winner at the weekend on the par 3 seventh hole.

He will be one of eight qualifiers and eight other invited golfers forming two teams led by celebrities contesting the season-ending par-3 style Porsche Centre Dubai shootout on the Majlis course’s 18th hole.

As the May medal division winners Klynge, Bakshi and Hooftman are now invited to play at Al Hamra Golf Club in September with a chance to win a place in the RAK 2016 Golf Challenge Pro-Am, a Challenge Tour Event being played at the course in October.

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Amateurs captain delighted hard work paid off in Dubai Golf Trophy win

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Alderman is doused by his team.

“It’s overwhelming right now, but it’s been something that I have been building towards for a while now. I am extremely proud of the boys not only for the way they played, but also how they conducted themselves on and off the golf course,” said the Canadian, who was playing his fourth tournament.

“We put together a really strong team. We had a couple of dark horses like Stephen Loftus and Chris Rahm about whom I guess the Professionals did not know much.

“We always had the belief that we could win this. And I am elated for the boys that we have finally managed to do so. They have put in so much hard work for this. I went to the ETPI a couple of times earlier this week to get my game in shape, and I could always see a couple of our guys practicing there. The commitment from them was huge.”

Meanwhile, it wasn’t the send-off professionals’ skipper Matthew Naylor was looking for. The Englishman is leaving Dubai after nine years here but not only was he on the losing side, Naylor was also unable to play any roleSunday following doctor’s advice to rest.

On Saturday, playing the afternoon fourballs, Naylor had collapsed on the 14th tee with a suspected case of heat stroke.

Naylor said: “Believe me, we wanted to win this badly. Yes, them winning is a reflection on the pros, and we are proud to have played a part in their development. But it is more a reflection on their hard work, it’s down to the players at the end of the day.

“I wasn’t surprised that they won, but I was surprised by the margin. I thought it would be close, but we got outplayed and the Amateurs deserve their victory. I was very impressed with their performance.

“It would have been a great way to finish my time in Dubai lose or win. But I’m proud of my team for the way they fought.”

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Amateurs secure Dubai Golf Trophy for first time in nine years

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The victorious UAE amateurs.

Leading 10-6 after turning the match on its head with a phenomenal showing in Saturday’s fourballs, the Chris Alderman-led Amateurs faced some early resistance in the singles, but eventually romped home with a 19.5-12.5 win.

It was only the third win for the Amateurs in the 17-year history of the tournament, first played in 2000.

Needing to win 6.5 points to replicate their success of 2005 and 2007, the Amateurs halved three early matches after losing the opener before turning the screw.

Craig Vance secured the most comfortable win of the day against Rory Young 5&4, while Bilbo Perrot beat Stephen Hubner, who was substituting for Professionals captain Matthew Naylor, 3&2, and Gary Swan beat Anthony Buchanan 1-up. Bayhaan Lakdawala was also rarely troubled in his match against Ryan Smith, which he won 4&2.

Martin Fernandez had a great chance to hit the winning shot for the Amateurs, but fell prey to the tough 18th at Dubai Creek and lost the last hole to square his match with Joe Marshall. At that point, the Amateurs had 16 points, and were leading in four of the remaining matches.

The winning putt was instead drained by 17-year-old Matthew Baxter of Emirates Golf Club. All square in his match against the experienced David Gray after 14 holes, Baxter won the 15th and 18th holes to seal the win for his side.

“I did not give that much thought to it,” said Baxter when asked to comment on his winning putt. “I am just happy that we have won it as a team for the first time in nine years. But obviously, to win the match for my team and to hole the winning putt is a great feeling.”

One of the standout matches, albeit insignificant in the grand scheme of things, played out between multiple UAE PGA Order of Merit champion Callum Nicoll and young Thiago Lobo of Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Nicoll had gone 5-up after just six holes before Lobo pulled it back to 1-up by winning four of the next 10. However, a bogey on the par-4 17th handed a hard-fought 2&1 win to Nicoll.

Rayhan Thomas, who was given the anchor role by captain Alderman, added a 5&4 win over Malcolm Young in the singles to his other two victories, making it three wins out of three for the youngster. This is the fourth Dubai Golf Trophy for the 16-year-old and he has lost only one foursomes match in that time.

Thomas, who landed from Thailand on Friday after finishing in the top-three in his last two MENA Tour events, was elated.

“It is my fourth year of playing the tournament and I am just over the moon,” he said.

“This really was the strongest team that we have fielded in many years. We knew we could win. And after the fourballs, we were really pumped. We didn’t want to lose.”

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