UAE golf round-up: MEGAs generate massive interest
The inaugural Middle East Golf Awards (MEGAs), a new initiative of Sport360°, has been lapped up by the golf industry with the awards night on Wednesday, December 11, now completely sold out.
This, despite the fact that the number of seats had to be upped from the original plan of 200. The new layout catered for 300 people and as of Wednesday, each and every seat at the One & Only Royal Mirage Amphitheatre has now been taken.
Golf is only 25 years old in the region, but the industry has managed to grow leaps and bounds and is the envy of the world because of the standards it has set in services, course maintenance, successful organisation and quality of events, clever marketing and boosting tourism in the region.
Sport360°, the only English language daily sports newspaper in the world, will recognise these massive efforts from individuals and organisations at the MEGAs.
Every single golf club, event and nearly all manufacturers will be present at the event, making it a must-attend night for those connected with the industry.
The MEGAs will be given out in 18 different categories – a mix of public voting, judgement on submissions and panel selection. As many as 221 entries were received and the public voting, which concluded on October 28, saw just over 17,000 votes being polled.
The event also has the backing of every major golfing body in the region, including the Arab Golf Federation, the golf federations of the UAE, Qatar and Oman, as well as the European Tour and the UAE PGA.
Popular radio presenters Richard Dean and Tom Bushell will host the event, and it will be broadcast live on Dubai Eye 103.8 from 19:30.
Among the category sponsors are adidas, Troon Golf, Hydroturf, James Golf Estates, One & Only Royal Mirage, Evian, Masar, MMC Sportz and Suunto.
Doha Stadium Plus, Qatar’s only weekly sports publication, have joined Arabian Gulf TV, ARN, UAE Golf Online and Worldwide Golf as the media partners of the event.
Davitt prevails in a tense battle for Duty Free supremacy
Irish journalist Dermott Davitt was crowned champion with a superb total of 78 stableford points in the 36-hole Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup, the 21st edition of which was played at The Faldo and Dubai Creek golf courses.
Despite the fantastic score by Davitt, he only won by just one point over Dubai Creek member Michael McGinley, who scored 77 points over the two rounds which included 42 points at The Faldo on the first day.
Given that he is a scratch handicapper, it was quite an achievement for McGinley, whose gross 66 included two eagles.
The runner-up in the Gents category was Antoine Breen with 75 points and the second runner-up prize went to Nick Midwood who had 71 points. The prize for best international male went to Dan Kongsted, who also returned an excellent total of 71 points.
In the ladies international category, it was Nancy Miller who collected first prize with 67 points, and that gave her a four-stroke winning margin over Jaclyn Wampler.
In the local division, Dubai Creek member Naema Maya successfully defended her title scoring a total of 61 points. The overall second runner up trophy went to Emirates Golf Club member Jacqui Barry, who managed 56 points over the two days.
The senior’s category was won by another Creek member, Bayar Khan, who used the home course advantage to shoot 40 points in the second round for a total of 75 and finished six points ahead of past winner Steve Flanagan.
The super senior division was won by the popular Sandy McPherson, who scored 59 stableford points. Over 100 specially invited guests from all over the world took part in what is one of the most looked-forward- to events in the regional golf calendar.
Shewakramani and Kapur win OnCourse Pairs event
A full field of 44 pairs took on the Majlis golf course at Emirates Golf Club for the third of this season’s OnCourseGolf International Pairs qualifying events.
The superb condition of the course was reflected in the excellent scores that the majority of the field recorded, but it was the pairing of Suresh Shewakramani and Manoj Kapur who took home the big prize – qualifying them for the UAE Final in June 2014, and a chance to qualify for the World Final in Scotland in November next year.
The pair posted a better ball total of 42 Stableford points.
Connie Sayal and Ashish Nanda took the runners up spot with 41 points, and just one point behind Dhiren Harchandani and Praveen Manghnani, who took third place.
The tournament was supported by TaylorMade, Visa International, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Perfect Italian job as Paoli wins Sharjah medal
Italian Ennore Paoli, a new member of Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, claimed his first major title as he won the Orient Travel-Thai Airways Monthly Medal.
Paoli, who has been receiving regular lessons from SGSC golf pro Joe Marshall and has been improving rapidly, shot a net 65 to romp home by five shots over his nearest rivals.
The highlight of his round was his consistency on the back 9, as he returned in just 42 from the back tees. With morning and afternoon shotgun starts, it was George Liu who claimed the mornings win with a one-over par net 73, just edging Bernie Benavidez, who also returned the same score, by virtue of the count back ruling.
The best gross in the morning was by Jonathan Houlston, a one-under par. The afternoon’s winner was Paoli, but Welshman Paul Nightingale produced one of the best rounds of the day, a one-under par gross 71 for a net 70.