Thomas sees silver lining in cruel missed cut

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Encouraging signs: Rayhan Thomas.

The Dubai-based teenager, now ranked India’s No1 amateur, shot rounds of six-over par 78 and three-over par 75 to finish on nine-over par at the halfway stage.

Play was suspended yesterday due to darkness after a second straight day of interruption due to a thunderstorm. All the players playing in the afternoon group were yet to complete their rounds.

The cut, on what is proving to be a very difficult Gary Player course at DLF Golf & Country Club, is expected to fall at five-over par.

“I must say I am a little disappointed to miss the cut, but I played super solid this week. I did hit the ball very solid. If they did my proximity to the hole stat, I think I would be in the top-five of the field,” said 17-year-old Thomas, who finished tied 60th in Omega Dubai Desert Classic last month.

“But in the future, if I have to make a choice of playing badly and missing the cut, or to play like this and miss the cut, I’d much prefer the second option.

“I really had one bad hole, the 18th where I hit two bad drives and it cost me five shots for the two rounds with a double and a triple, which made all the difference. It is a par-5 hole, so I’d expect to make a birdie there.

“And I did not make any putt over the two days. The greens were tricky, but my putter went surprisingly cold.”

Thomas however saw the silver lining in the tough test that he endured.

“I really enjoyed my first Indian Open. The golf course was interesting. It was very tough and in great condition. I think I am going to find the UAE courses so much more easier when I come back,” he said.

“It is so different from the course we have back home. The slightest of mis-hits, if you get into the bushes, or find water, can result in a big number. There were times you felt like you saved a shot if you made a bogey after getting into some of these spots.”

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WATCH: Long Drive World Series to open in Dubai

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Challenging everything expected of, or known, about golf events – and golfers- the Long Drive World Series Dubai will see eight of the world’s very best Long Drivers battle it out in what will be the first round of the four– city series.

It is the first time ever that all eight international champions will compete in the same event anywhere in the world.

Those competing will be Lucas Dornan, UK Long Drive Champion and Long Drive World Series competitor , two-time World Champion Joe Miller and many more stars of the format.

The Long Drive World Series event is designed to have crowds on the edge of their seats and deliver some real upsets for the so-called experts.
There will be sudden death knockouts and head-to-head battles, as well as the unknown challenge of two wildcard places.



Women or men who believe they have the drive and gusto to go head-to-head with some of the world’s best can score a wildcard one of two ways:

eGolfMegastore Al Wasl: The first way is to visit eGolfMegastore’s Al Wasl, branch in Dubai where would-be long-drivers can record their longest drive for a chance to fill one wildcard place. Entries close on 14th March those thinking about it are encouraged to get moving.

Open Qualifier, 16 March, 2pm: The second way is for golfers to take a long-lunch on Thursday, 16th March and join the Open Qualifier at2pm at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Along with the opportunity to compete against the main field, and forever hold bragging rights, the two wild-card entries will also be eligible to win their share of the of Dh223,281 event prize fund.


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Trump's sons open new Dubai golf club

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Trump International Golf Club Dubai was officially opened yesterday with Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr, sons of US President Donald Trump, present at the function as guests of honour.

The Gil Hanse-designed lay-out, which forms the heart of the 42-million square foot DAMAC Hills master development, becomes the 12th golf course in Dubai. The championship-size 18-hole course measures 7,205 yards from the back tees and plays to par-71.

Hussain Sajwani, chairman of DAMAC Properties, said: “It is an honour to stand here today with Eric and Donald Trump Jr., as well as dignitaries and prominent members of the business community, to celebrate yet another outstanding milestone for our city Dubai.

“The Trump International Golf Club Dubai is an international golf course that just joined the league of the most premium golf courses in the world. It certainly transforms the golfing scene in Dubai and across the region, reaffirming the emirate’s position as a global destination for world-class developments.”

Trump International Dubai is the latest addition to the company’s impressive portfolio, which includes Turnberry and Aberdeen in Scotland, Doonbeg in Ireland and 12 other courses across the United States.

It is the Trump Organisation’s first foray into the Middle East market and at the gala launch, punctuated by a spectacular fireworks display, executive vice president Eric Trump outlined his expectation that Dubai’s newest course will be the jewel in the region’s golfing crown.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this momentous occasion in Dubai and to witness the opening of this latest offering in our portfolio of Trump golf courses – the first in the Middle East,” he said at the inauguration, attended by the region’s golfing glitterati.

“We are very proud of our collaboration with DAMAC Properties and look forward to bringing a new level of challenge and luxury to Dubai at this truly spectacular property.

“Everyone’s put in so much blood, sweat and tears into making this happen and we’ve achieved something that is tremendous. We’ve truly built one of the great golf courses anywhere in the world and truly, probably the best golf course anywhere in the Middle East and beyond.

“You walk through the clubhouse, you see the marble, you see the quality, you see the attention to detail. You look at the grass, you see the condition of the grass, of the greens and the tees and the bunkers – it is truly second to none anywhere. This course is going to be a proud symbol of Dubai and of this country for many years to come.”

Trump paid tribute to those behind the scenes and insisted that Trump International Dubai is merely the company’s first step, with the Tiger Woods-designed Trump World Golf Club set to be the next venture in the city.

“Our team have done an incredible job, a quick thanks to Gil Hanse too, who did a phenomenal job. We are so proud to be here tonight. On behalf of the entire family, on behalf of the entire Trump organisation, on behalf of the entire team at Trump International Dubai it’s a tremendous honour to stand before you. Thanks for your love, your friendship. We’re going to have a lot of fun years together and this is just the beginning.”

Donald Trump Jr echoed his brother’s sentiments, adding: “It’s been a privilege to do this, to be a part of this project and to work on it. What you have in front of you is a truly world class facility. Not just for Dubai but anywhere.

“It is a unique, incredibly well-designed golf course that will give many of years of enjoyment to its members, visitors, guests passing through the country and I think it’s a great example of what can be built here and what will continue to be built for years to come.”

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