Dubai Golf News

Will this be the year for the Amateurs to claim victory in the 2016 Dubai Golf Trophy?

May 21st and 22nd welcomes one of the most hotly anticipated local golfing events of the season as the Dubai Golf Trophy returns.  During this annual event the 16 leading UAE based PGA Professionals and the leading 16 Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) Amateur golfers will go head to head in a Ryder Cup style showdown in a bid to be crowned champions in the seventeenth edition of the Dubai Golf Trophy.

The event originally started as a social season ending tournament in 2000 at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. Since then the event has grown in popularity and prestige and is now one of the highlights of the local golfing calendar for professionals and amateurs alike. This year's event takes place on 21st May on the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club, followed by round two on 22nd May on the championship course at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

In 2015 the Professionals were dominant and secured an impressive victory with a final event score of 18.5 to 13.5, which means that they have now taken home the last eight consecutive trophies. This brings the total victories for the Professionals to 14 wins against the Amateurs two, having claimed victory in 2005 and 2007.

The Amateur team makes for exciting reading, a mixture of experience and youth, showcasing the finest golf talent in the region.  Four of the players are under 18 years of age with 16 year old rising star Rayhan Thomas playing in his fourth Dubai Golf Trophy.  Chris Rahm, Tiago Lobo and Matthew Baxter make up this quartet, supported by veterans including Craig Vance, Miki Mirza, Bayhaan Lakdawala and Mike Robson. The Amateur team is made up of players from all over the globe, with golfers from the United Arab Emirates, India, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa Uruguay and Sweden all hoping they can reclaim the trophy.

Chris Alderman, the 2016 Captain is only too well aware that the statistics are heavily in favour of the Professionals, having played in three previous tournaments, however he remains positive that 2016 can be the Amateurs year.  Chris believes that the enthusiasm and team spirit combined with the balance of experience and young first timers can secure the title, he commented. "This year the team is filled with youth and some newly added veterans. The change I see in the team this year is that we have some of our young guns returning, who now have gained valuable experience over the last few years playing DGT and other regional match play within their host clubs and the fantastic UAE regional scratch league competitions.  The Professionals are still the team to beat, but watch out for these fearless youngsters. This year, a few of our matured qualifiers won't be able to play due to prior commitments, however we still have quite a few veterans in top form.  I'm expecting some strong play from the young guns, supported with leadership of the old fellas. You can see the quality of play and the scoring needed to obtain DGT point in the OOM events has significantly improved over the last few years. Looking forward to the battle."

The Professionals' Captain for 2016 is Matthew Naylor, who is moving back to the UK this month and who commented, "The Dubai Golf Trophy is an event we all look forward to every year. Particularly this year, as it will be my seventh and final tournament, and to be captaining such a great team Professionals is such an honour. This is probably our strongest team, however the opposition have improved every year and we will need to play to our best if we are to keep our run going. This is a great end to my nine years in Dubai."

Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Golf has been closely involved with the event since it started in 2000. He commented that "The Dubai Golf Trophy is a superb event to be a part of, there is always a very competitive spirit between the two teams which leads to some interesting competition and results.  The Professionals really have dominated in recent years, it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their winning streak.  The purpose of the Dubai Golf Trophy is to raise the profile of golf in the region and to bring players from clubs all over the UAE together in a competitive and enjoyable format.  Qualifying for this end of season tournament is a great achievement for the golfers involved, it is fantastic to see a few junior golfers representing the Amateur team. We are all anticipating an exciting two days of competition ahead."

Teams

Professionals

Matthew Naylor (Captain)                          DG Golf LLC
David Gray (Vice Captain)                         DG Golf LLC
Anthony Buchanan                                   Yas Links
Callum Nicoll                                          Abu Dhabi
Cennydd Mills                                         Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Gavin Sutherland                                     ETPI JGE
Jack Woods                                            Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Jaco Stander                                          Saadiyat
Joe Marshall                                           Al Badia
Luke Plumb                                            Al Badia
Malcolm Young                                        Arabian Ranches
Mark Ruddy                                            Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club
Michael Major                                          Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Ryan Smith                                            The Montgomerie
Steven Munro                                          UAE PGA
Tom Buchanan                                         Al Ain

Amateurs

Chris Alderman (Captain)                             Jumeirah Golf Estates
Bayhaan Lakdawala (Vice Captain)                 Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Christopher Rahm                                       Jumeirah Golf Estates
Tiago Lobo                                                Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Andrew Smolak                                          EGF
Martin Fernandez                                        Jumeirah Golf Estates
Matthew Baxter                                          Emirates Golf Club
Stephen Loftus                                           EGF
Rayhan Thomas                                          Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Mike Robson                                              Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club
Bilbo Perrot                                               Jumeirah Golf Estates
Gary Swan                                                Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Max Burrow                                               Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Rakesh Shah                                              Emirates Golf Club
Miki Mirza                                                  Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Craig Vance                                               Tower Links Golf Club