One bad session proved costly for the Amateurs as they lost the 15th edition of the annual Dubai Golf Trophy following a Ryder Cup-style showdown with the Professionals.
The Professionals finally triumphed 19.5-12.5 for their fifth successive win in the two-day event which features the 16 leading UAE based PGA professionals going head to head against the top 16 Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) amateurs.
The win would not have been possible without the Pros' 7-1 victory in the fourball format on day one.
That drubbing came after the Amateurs gave an excellent account of themselves in the morning foursomes by winning won four matches, including a crushing 5&4 win for young Rayhan Thomas and Max Burrow over Professionals captain Steven Munro and Phil Waine.
Thomas and Burrow were the sole bright spot in the Amateurs’ afternoon campaign, beating Luke Plumb and Tom Buchanan 4&3 for their only point of the session.
With the Professionals taking a six-point lead into the final round, which was played at Dubai Creek, the Amateurs were left with a mountain to climb, but under the guidance of captain John Fellingham, they fought tooth and nail in the singles and at one point, they had won five, halved two and lost just two in the first nine matches.
That closed the gap to three points but the bottom half of the Professionals ended up getting the job done with some convincing wins.
From the 10th to the 16th match, they won five, lost just one (Eoin Cunniffe getting the better of David Blackadder in the penultimate match) and halved the other to post a 8.5-7.5 result in the singles.
Both Thomas and Burrow secured their third and maximum points in the tournament with early singles wins.
Burrow produced a fine performance and got the first point on the board for the Amateurs with a 5&3 victory over Plumb, while Thomas was sensational in making birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to beat Alistair Brown.
Despite their 13th loss in 15 editions, Amateurs captain Fellingham was gracious in defeat and said: “I am so proud of my team. They supported each other and gave it their all as well as playing the game in its intended spirit. I couldn’t have asked for any more from them.”
Professionals captain Munro commented: “I’d like to thank the Professionals for doing such a fantastic job today and to Dubai Golf for hosting a superb event once again this year.”
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