Callum Nicoll’s on the cusp of sealing eighth Dubai Trophy title

Joy Chakravarty 09:09 17/05/2015
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Leading from the front: Callum Nicoll.

The Professionals stamped their class on the Dubai Golf Trophy, racing to a four-point lead at the end of the first day’s play at Dubai Creek on Saturday.

Eight fourballs and foursomes matches were played on Saturday, and the result was exactly similar – with the Professionals winning five and the Amateurs three in both sessions.

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The Callum Nicoll-led Professionals now need six-and-a-half points from the 16 singles on Sunday (starting 11:30 at the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club) to win the tournament for the eighth consecutive year.

The Amateurs started in brilliant fashion, with Mikhail Pinto and Michael Harradine beating Ryan Smith and David Gray 4&3 in the foursomes, and a second point was soon up on the board in their favour when Josh Taylor and Phil Waine lost on the 18th hole to the pairing of Tiago Lobo and Craig Vance.

But the first blow came when Miki Mirza, a former UAE No1 who knows the Dubai Creek course as well as the back of his palm, and reigning Order of Merit champion Rayhan Thomas were beaten 3&2 by Steven Munro and Anthony Buchanan. The match was all square after 10 holes, but the Professionals took three back-to-back holes and never looked in trouble after that.

Captain Nicoll and Matthew Naylor combined well to win both their matches, a feat that was repeated by Munro and Anthony, and Tom Buchanan and Gavin Sutherland.

The biggest wins of the day were recorded in the foursomes, with Tom and Sutherland recording a 7&5 win over Bayhaan Lakdawala and Abdulla Al Musharrekh, while Martyn Hamer and Brendan O’Leary won 6&5 over Sidney De Souza and Andrew Smolak. 

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