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The third edition of the Abu Dhabi Schools and Clubs League (ADSCL), run by Troon Golf, has generated a massive response once again as it returns to the capital for a third consecutive year.

Eight teams from across the UAE compete over the next six months for top honours in the 2013-14 series, with the inaugural tournament taking place today at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

The British School Al Khubairat will return as defending champions for what is set to be a hotly contested league.

All participants will be offered free tee times for each tournament in an effort to encourage more juniors to participate in competitive golf.

The ADSCL was the idea of Saadiyat Beach teaching professional PJ Van Merch, who felt that there were very few local opportunities for juniors to participate in any kind of competition.

The first season started in December 2011 and the League has gone from strength to strength.

PJ said: “With over 500 children receiving coaching through various lesson programmes in the Abu Dhabi area, the region is a real hotbed of junior golfing talent.

“However, when speaking to the juniors, it soon became clear that only a tiny percentage of them were actually playing competitive golf.

“The ADSCL provides an all important outlet to junior golfers seeking the invaluable competition experience and has the potential to act as a springboard for a professional golf career.

“At Saadiyat Beach Golf Club we’ve always been committed to developing the next generation of golfers amongst our local community and beyond.”

This year’s tournament features teams from the British School Khubairat, Al Yasmina School, Canadian International School, Al Ain International School, American Community School, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf.

Van Merch added: “Introducing junior golfers to competition at an early age is crucial to their development.

“Competitive golf harnesses a number of key skills that are transferable into every element of day-to-day life.

“It encourages team work, concentration and most importantly helps to build strong friendships that extend far beyond the fairways.”


Barker prevails in a three-way tie to win CBI title at Fire
The annual Commercial Bank International Golf day went down to wire with Stephen Barker winning the title on a three-way countback at the Greg Norman-designed Jumierah Golf Estates’ Fire Course.

Playing a consistent tee-to-green game, Barker carded an impressive 39 points, beating his nearest challengers Douglas Hayes and Peter Boland with his better score on the back nine (21 points).

Hayes finished runner up, while Boland had to settle for third on a great day for golf. The fourth and fifth place were also separated through a countback with James Clarke edging past Nanthavan Sukkhasantikul after the two had carded identical 38 points.

The fact that just one point separated the top five reflected the intensity of the competition which saw a strong field 72 golfers contest for honours. Hayes also showed his accuracy off the tee when he won the straightest drive. 

Tom Bunker and Andy Allman walked away the longest drive (on the seventh hole) and nearest to the pin (14th hole) prizes. The tournament was followed by a gala dinner where David Power, Head of Retail Banking of CBI presented the prizes.

National Day success for Kelly and Feenie at Al Hamra
Steve Kelly and Mags Feenie picked up top awards in the National Day Open at Al Hamra. Mags produced her best ever round for a first competition win with a fantastic 67.

She posted 35 on the front nine and an awesome 32 on the back which included two net eagles and seven net birdies. This turned out to be 3 shots better than nearest rivals Simon Sinclair and Greg Maddox who both carded identical rounds of 70.

Simon received the runners-up prize after recording the best back nine. Steve Kelly took top honours in the gross division with a score of 75. Collecting the runners-up prize was Mike Dunn, two clear of Tony Cashman.

Impressive Clark victorious in Ladies’ Heritage Trophy
Some fantastic scoring and a stable finish for the win was good enough for Catherine Clark to seal top spot in The Heritage Trophy at Emirates Golf Club.

An impressive 42 stableford points, with five net birdies, in round one on the challenging Faldo course was followed by 38 stableford points on the Majlis as she cemented her win.

Ashley Anderson, with 35 stableford points in round one and a phenomenal 42 stableford points in round two, was a close second. Ashley finished strong with four net birdies and two net eagles.

Mimi Hosking took third place with a steady and strong pace throughout both rounds. The best score on the Faldo came from Mieke Slotboom (41pts), while Sylvia Weber (39pts) took top honours on the Majlis.

Steady Baxter leads the pack home in Mashreq Medal
The Mashreq monthly medal took place on the Majlis course, with 84 players doing battle.

Rising to win in the C division (hcp 21-34) was Marc Charlet with a great score of 77 points net. B division (hcp 11-20) saw David Formas take first place with a fantastic score of 71.

David scored birdies on the fourth and 17th holes. Runner-up was Ishu Rupani, also with a wonderful 71 (countback). Ishu scored a birdie on the 10th. Third place went to Haris Michaelides with 72.

The A division saw many challenges and close calls through card countbacks, however Matthew Baxter topped it all with an excellent score of net 70.

Matthew triumphed by playing steady and consistent throughout all 18 holes. A close call of better back three elevated Humayun Shahryar to the runner-up position with the score of net 72, including birdies on the seventh and 17th.

Johnny Aldridge took third place by card count back with a 72. Aldridge scored three birdies on the third, 10th and 13th. Ross Hopwood took the prize for Best Gross with an outstanding score of 73 gross. Special mention to Ashok Ahuja for a hole in one on the 11th.


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