Yas Links Abu Dhabi praised by Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation chairman

Joy Chakravarty 10:08 21/10/2015
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Simply the best: Dr David Cherry tees off at Yas.

Yas Links Abu Dhabi has been described as “the best links course in the world” by the chairman of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), Dr David Cherry.

His high praise came as the Kyle Phillips-designed course gets ready to host the 27th Nomura Cup from Thursday.

During a press conference on the eve of the most prestigious amateur tournament in Asia Pacific region, Dr Cherry said his comments “may disappoint my Scottish friends” but stood by his call on the 7414-yard, par-72 layout.

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“I mean that and I would say that anywhere, even in Scotland,” the Australian administrator said.

“It’s a magnificent layout…it’s just a pure links golf course.  It’s challenging, it’s tough enough for a major event such as this…what else do you need?

“I mean you’ve already got Abu Dhabi Golf Club (host of the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship) and Saadiyat Beach is also a fantastic golf course, but this (Yas Links) is the pick of them.”

Cherry said the APGC would consider bringing future events to Abu Dhabi and his comments on Yas Links won’t go unnoticed globally.

EGF vice-chairman and Nomura Cup organising committee chairman Adel Zarouni has been quoted previously, in his role as Arab Golf Federation (AGF) Secretary-General, that a bid for the Eisenhower Trophy would be the obvious next step if they were successful in hosting the Nomura Cup. 

That appears guaranteed given the comments of Dr Cherry who added: “This is a very attractive place to come and particularly with the support of the Emirates Golf Federation.

Adel Zarouni has been amazing the way he has supported this event. The infrastructure is fantastic here, all the hotels nearby, a major airport, that’s a huge plus, people can fly straight in. They’ll have more major events here.”

Australia, winners of the Nomura Cup a record 10 times and seven of the last eight titles, will defend their crown at Yas Links as 27 countries battle over 72 holes until Sunday in an event that is second only to the Eisenhower Trophy world amateur men’s team championship in terms of size and stature.

The tournament is a 72-hole strokeplay event – where the best three of four scores each day contribute towards a country’s overall total.

Zarouni said the national governing body was ready to embrace the opportunity presented by winning the right to host the Nomura Cup in the region for the first time in the event’s 52-year history.

“The Emirates Golf Federation is honoured to host this prestigious championship for the first time…it’s a proud moment for the amateur game in the UAE and for the wider Arab golf world,” Zarouni said, acknowledging the support of tournament partners Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

“It’s another wonderful opportunity to expose players from across the region to top international amateur competition. It is also a reminder to the global golfing community of the world-class courses and facilities that make the UAE one of the game’s emerging hotspots.”

Zarouni’s comments were echoed by Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Bureau Director at TCA Abu Dhabi which promotes the ‘Golf in Abu Dhabi’ initiative, a collective of the emirate’s six clubs including Yas Links.

Impressed by Yas: Dominic Wall, EGF Chairman, Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, and Dr David Cherry.

He said: “Yas Links Abu Dhabi is one of the jewels in Abu Dhabi’s golfing crown, a collection of world class courses. This is a great opportunity to showcase the premium golf product and diverse tourism and cultural experiences Abu Dhabi offers to a very important market across Asia.”

New club general manager Howie Roberts is looking forward to an absorbing battle at Yas Links and praised Yas Links’ Kiwi course superintendent Michael Clark who has presented the wall-to-wall Paspalum Platinum grass test in pristine condition for the championship.

“The members at Yas Links Abu Dhabi are rightly proud of their course which is set to host yet ano-ther important championship. It’s a testing challenge, especially when the wind gets up, that I’m sure all the players at this Nomura Cup will enjoy and return home raving about,” Roberts said.

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Regional golf round-up: Arkesh Bhatia takes RAK Junior Open

Joy Chakravarty 09:43 21/10/2015
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Champion Arkesh Bhatia (c).

Arkesh Bhatia produced a blistering 67 to be crowned the RAK Junior Open champion in the eighth edition of the tournament.

Bhatia produced quality nines of 33 and 34 including five birdies and an eagle for a one-shot win over Griffin Joseph. After an up-and-down front nine of 36, Griffin then produced the best back nine of the tournament, firing home six birdies on his way to a back nine of 32.

Kabir Nanda was on a two-under par 70 after beating Aryan Chordia and Sasha Sparacino in a countback.

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The girls championship saw Da Eun Jung take top honors after shooting a 76 to finish one clear of Julia Al Hemoud.

After a solid start, Da sealed the fate of the tournament with four solid closing pars, whereas Julia started solidly but let her chances fade after closing with three bogies.

The Boys Net Division was won by Kevin McCarrick, who shot a 61 to better Vijayesh Harridas by one shot. The Girl’s Net Division saw Kate Bibby win by a whopping 10 shots after her brilliant 66.

Sindhu and Shewakramani are class apart at Creek

Sindhu (c) and Shewakramani (2nd r).

The pairing of Ashok Sindhu and Suresh Shewakramani got back to winning ways with a superb betterball stableford score of 45 points to win the October edition of the OMA Emirates Creek pairs.

There were plenty of good performances throughout the field and the scoring was tight.

The team of Anish Bhatia and Swati Singh, who finished runners-up on the day, did so only by way of a countback over the third placed team of David Gowans and Joy Lirio after both teams managed a very respectable score of 42 points.

The nearest to the pin prize on the eighth hole was won by Dubai Creek’s previous Lady Captain, Paula Savage. Fellow Dubai Creek member Sami Eldin did the same on the par 3 16th.

Murphy’s law at Coral Beach Resort Stableford

David Murphy with his prize.

Club member David Murphy claimed his maiden winter victory in the latest Coral Beach Resort Midweek Stableford at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club with a superb nine holes of 23 points.

Murphy had an excellent start by claiming 10 points in the first third with three gross pars.

The 23-handicapper, then had an average middle third but finished strongly with eight points in the last three holes to win overall and Division two by two points.

Runner-up in Division two was Chandra Shekaran with 21 points, while Division one spoils went to the man in form and Summer Net Champion Namir Al Naimi with 19 points. SGSC Director of Golf, Martin Duff, was runners-up with 16 points.

eTutorHome to sponsor new parent-child event

Duff (l) with Sumana Halder.

Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club have announced the new Parent & Junior Golf Nights, sponsored by eTutorHome.

These events will take place on Thursday evenings with a 6pm shotgun on November 6, January 21 and April 21.

Director of Golf, Martin Duff, said: “It is fantastic that we have eTutorHome on board as sponsors for these great events that both children and parents will truly enjoy.”

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Marriott Rewards Masters Golf Tournament held at Dubai Creek

Sport360 staff 09:22 14/10/2015
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Participants at the Marriott Rewards Masters.

The UAE Marriott Hotels and the award-winning Marriott Rewards loyalty program hosted the second annual Marriott Rewards Masters Golf tournament on 11 October 2015.

A record number of 83 Marriott Rewards members, senior executives and business leaders were greeted by Marriott’s management team at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club for a day of fun, networking and of course, golf challenges.

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“The annual Marriott Rewards Golf Tournament is fast becoming a renowned corporate day amongst our Marriott Rewards members,” said Katrin R. Müller, Director of Customer Relationship Management, Marriott International Middle East & Africa.

“Hosting exclusive local events enables us to interact and connect with our Marriott Rewards members, offering them unique experiences that only a Marriott Rewards membership can unlock”

Throughout the day, players were treated to culinary and beverage highlights from a wide range of Marriott Hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while tackling the challenging Dubai Creek course.

With the #MRpoints social media promotion giving Marriott Rewards members the opportunity to earn points via key social media pages, revealing a new and interactive way to earn Marriott Rewards points.

The day at the golf course concluded with a prize-giving ceremony with the first prize, for each player on the winning team, receiving a two night stay at the Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa and 25,000 Qantas points, courtesy Qantas sponsorship.

Other prizes included stays at the Sharm El Sheikh Marriott Resort and the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai as well as restaurant vouchers for Darren Velvick’s newly launched ‘The Croft’ at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites.

Guests were invited to continue networking at The Croft’s after-party on their newly launched Juniper Terrace. 

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