Morocco’s Maha Haddioui, the only Arab player in the Ladies European Tour, is hoping for a top-10 finish in this week’s Omega Dubai Ladies Masters so that she does not have to return to the Qualifying School.
The 26-year-old from Casablanca is currently ranked 101st on the Ladies European Tour Money List.
On the ever of the tournament, she said: “Well, this is very special for me. It's almost as special as playing at home in Morocco, because obviously it’s an Arab country and I’m the only Arab player on Tour.
“This is my last tournament this year before the Qualifying School. I would like to have a top‑10 this week so I don’t have to go back to Q‑School. That’s the main goal.
“I’m trying to just focus on the process on the golf course and not think too much about the outcome and results. I’ve been working on my swing. I’ve been working on my strategy on the course, and it’s a course that I know quite well now.
“I had the chance to come here before the Indian Open and I did some work on the course and played some practice rounds. I think top‑10 is a good goal for this week.”
Haddioui praised the MENA Golf Tour and what it was doing for male golfers of the region and felt a similar tour for amateur women would provide a huge boost to ladies golf in the region.
“The MENA Tour, a lot of Moroccan players play on it and it’s a great thing that’s been done,” she added.
“It’s definitely helping Arab professionals get better and perform better. We are very proud as Moroccans that Ahmed Marjane won a tournament on it."
Davies getting better with age
Laura Davies has always believed age is just a number, but after narrowly missing out on becoming the oldest player to win an LPGA Tour event last month, the 51-year-old legend comes to Dubai with renewed motivation and confidence in her game.
Davies started the final round of the Mizuno Classic in Japan tied for the lead but after a final round one-under par 71, she finished one shot short of the three way tie for lead.
And the ‘golf in DUBAi’ ambassador, who was made a Dame by the British Queen earlier this year, is looking forward to turning her eighth consecutive appearance in the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters into a winning trip to a city she loves.
“I love it obviously, one of my favorite tournaments of the year, not just on the European Tour, but during the year itself. I love the course, love the people, I just enjoying being here,” said Davies.
“It’s a huge boost confidence and shows I can still win and I think that week proved that I could.
“I haven’t done well the last three years around here, purely because of putting, not ball‑striking. The way the course sets up, left‑to‑right and right‑to‑left, it suits my game."
Despite winning 84 titles worldwide, including a record 45 wins on the Ladies European Tour, since turning pro in 1985, Davies said she still has ambitions in the game.
“There’s lots to play for still and I just love competing. I love the fact that I’m competing against 18‑years‑old and I still think I can stand toe‑to‑toe with them and beat them on any given day.
“Over a year, they are probably a little bit more consistent than me because obviously you lose your putting. It's normally the putting that is the difference, but any given tournament, you always feel like you can beat even the very top players.”
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