The golf industry's economic impact in Dubai is worth $131m per year, according to a Deloitte study, and Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International in Dubai, explains why it is excellent news for the UAE.
Darren Clarke is not competing in the DP World Championship this year but was in Dubai on Wednesday as part of the Host Cities summit held at Fairmont, The Palm.
Sport360’s Reem Abulleil spoke to the popular Ulsterman about his predictions for the tournament and looking ahead to next year’s Ryder Cup.
Danny Willett is chasing Rory in the Race to Dubai rankings, how do you think this will pan out?
It’s going to be very exciting I think on Sunday. I think Rory has been here practicing for a week I believe, he’s got a very good record around there so I think he’ll be a tough man to beat.
What do you think of both their seasons?
Obviously Danny has played fantastic, Rory as well, but he’s got himself injured and he’s been fighting back from that. But they’ve both had wonderful seasons, as have a lot of other guys, so it’ll be very close.
And Henrik Stenson going for the hat-trick in Dubai…
Henrik is just a world-class player all the time and he’s been playing very well of late as well so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up there.
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) November 18, 2015
Justin Rose again, he’s here and he’s going to be very close. I think we’re in for a very very exciting week.
What do the players need to look out for to win at the Earth Course?
Keep it out of the bunkers. The bunkers are very strategically placed. If you hit it in some of those off the tees you can pay a big penalty, so there’s a lot of chipping the golf ball and making sure that you miss the greens in the right side to the pin location because you’re much better off missing it just off the side of the green than you are leaving yourself a 40-50 foot putt. So it’s knowing the golf course and knowing when you can afford to miss.
Do you miss not playing the DP World Tour Championship this year?
Yes, obviously I prefer to playing it but I’ve got much other stuff going on right now with Ryder Cup and EurAsia Cup so it’s fine.
Do you have time to work on your game with all your Ryder Cup captain responsibilities?
I try to work on my game but it’s quite difficult because of all the other commitments. My mind wanders to stuff that I have to do and decisions that I have to make.
But last time I was here, I played in Ras Al Khaimah a couple of weeks ago and I finished second so that was very good. We’ll see. It’s quite difficult because I’m still a professional golfer and I still want to play well so it’s quite difficult trying to find a balance.
What are you enjoying the most at the moment in terms of your captaincy duties?
There’s a lot of decisions to be made on all sort of different things. But being able to pick the clothes what the guys are going to wear.
— Sport360° (@Sport360) November 19, 2015
That’s a pretty interesting part of it. There’s many many things going on so afterwards is probably a better time to ask.
You’ve got three Captain’s picks, what will you be looking for when it comes to those wildcards?
They all need to be playing well but I think the wildcards I will select them based on the formation of the rest of the team. If there’s a lot of rookies on the team then obviously I’ll look towards experience. If not then I will try and balance the team out.
If there’s a guy that I think is going to be suited to a fourball play that will suit one guy that’s in the team… there’s many different reasons why the wildcards I would pick certain people. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of thought into it.
Which of the young players have impressed you this season?
Matt Fitzpatrick had a wonderful year. Really trained on and improved a lot. Danny Willet has improved massively as well.
Obviously he’s got a chance to win the Race to Dubai. There’s so many of the young kids who have played really really well. Bernd Weisberger has played really well. There’s a lot of them.
Sam Billings and his team of Emirates Golf Club members Marcus Wallman, Tony Azoulay and Ashley Anderson combined perfectly to fire a 14-under par tally of 58 and win the Old Mutual International Cricket Invitational over the Faldo course.
As many as 18 teams, comprising members of Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) and Emirates Golf Club members, competed in a Texas Scramble format with each 4-ball joined by a professional cricketer past or present.
England coach Trevor Bayliss, James Jackson, Chris Jones and Euan McIntosh also recording a 14-under par total but finished second after a card countback.
On a day of low scoring three teams carded rounds of 59, but it was the four ball of captain Walid Al Attar, Anish Malattiri, Rakesh Shah and bowing coach Ottis Gibson who took third place following a better back nine.
England fast bowler Chris Woakes clinched the longest drive on the 16th.
Among the England ODI squad who took part in the event were Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Trevor Bayliss, Paul Collingwood, Phil Neale, Ottis Gibson and Charles Dagnall.
Tuoma and Summerson prove a perfect pairing
Sharjah Wanderers Golf Club, the only golf club in UAE that is still run by its members, and with possibly the smallest membership in the country, was the venue for the latest qualifying tournament for the Daman Investments International Pairs.
Club Captain Olav Tuoma and playing partner Dave Summerson were outstanding as they scored 42 points on a blustery day to book their place in the UAE final.
Patrick Flower and Doug Cameron combined very well for 41 points but had to be satisfied with the second place, two ahead of Bob Driver and Damian Murphy (39 points).
Spot prizes of the day went to Lady Captain Marion Tennant, who was closest to the pin on the eighth hole, while Driver was nearest to the pin in two on hole seven. The longest drive went to Malcolm Tennant.
The winners will now go forward to the UAE Final on March 10 next year, but not before they are joined by teams from the rest of the season’s qualifying tournaments.
The next qualifier is at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.