Emirates Golf Club News

Saunders Triumphs in Omega Emirates Amateur Open

Michael Saunders, representing Dartford Golf Club (England), triumphed in the Omega Emirates Amateur Open by a four shot margin.

Saunders shared the overnight lead with Ashley Rees (East Sussex National) having both fired a gross 74 over the Faldo course, 2-over par. Their closest rivals going in to the final round over the Majlis were Bal Arnaud (Rinkven Golf Club, Belguim), Sami Hajri (Yas Links GC) and Ryan Riley (EGF) all on the 3-over par mark.

Omega Emirates Amateur Open winner
Christopher D'abreo (Group Manager Rivoli Group), Jacklyn Quadras (Marketing & PR Manager Omega), Michael Saunders (Champion) and Club Captain Moshe Kohli

Saunders handled the pressure of the final round well stating up with nine straight pars on the more difficult nines of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic layout. He started the inward half well with a birdie four on the par five 10th, he suffered his first drop shots on the difficult 12th and the 16th holes but his challengers faded away leaving him with a healthy lead going in to the final two holes. He finished in style with a terrific birdie four on the famous 18th to claim the prestigious title. Rounds of 74 and 74 gave him a 148 total, plus four for the Championship, following in the footstep of past Champions Michael Hoey (European Tour winner) and Peter Hanson (Ryder Cup winner).
Sam Towler, representing Woburn Golf Club, followed his opening 79 with a much improved 74 to claim runners-up position on plus eight for the tournament. One of the stories of the final round involved 12-year old Jakub Hrinda (Doha GC), he produced the best round of the championship with a level par 72 over the Majlis to claim third place overall on plus 10 for the 36-holes. With five competitors on the plus 10 mark, a final round count back resulted in Chris Adams (Montgomerie GC) clinching fourth place with rounds of 79 & 75 and Craig Forrest (EGF) taking fifth with a 79 and 75.

Emirates Golf Club member Ewan Cameron just missed out on the top 5 prize position after a card count back.The best net of the championship went to Bal Arnaud (Royal GC Bahrain) after he signed for rounds of 72 and 76. Two shots adrift and in runners-up position was Mark Davin (Ashton On Mersey GC, England) with a 77 and 73. Bilel Belaid (Abu Dhabi) took third with a 75 and 76.

In the remaining prize categories Ashley Rees took home best gross for day 1 with a 74, Graham Pascal best gross day 2 with a 75, Rory Blincow best net day 1 with a 71 and Daood Jaffal best net day 2 with a 75.

Omega continued their Title Sponsor of the Emirates Men's Amateur Open. Speaking about this exclusive sponsorship OMEGA Vice President and International Sales Director Mr. Raynald Aeschlimann commented; "As one of the most highly anticipated golf events of the year that attracts the top amateur players from across the world we are delighted to have been associated with this tournament at Emirates Golf Club and are confident that the event will continue to grow over the years in stature on the international golf scene. Having been title sponsors for the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Masters and OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, it is befitting for us to now be supporting the largest amateur open in the region with 123 competitors."

The 25th edition of the tournament will take place next year as will the 25th anniversary of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.