The Amateur team will be hoping to tap into good vibes and repeat last year’s success when they take on Professionals in the Dubai Trophy, one of the most anticipated local golfing event of the season, at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club on May 20-21.
Featuring 16 top UAE-based PGA Professionals and the leading 16 Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) amateur golfers, the annual event, now in its 18th edition, will see the teams go head-to-head in a Ryder Cup-style showdown, promising an absorbing battle in the sun.
Originally started as a social season-ending tournament in 2000 at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the event has since grown in popularity and stature, becoming one of the highlights of the local golfing calendar.
In 2016, the Amateurs conjured a piece of magic, clinching victory for the first time in nine years, and only the third time in the 17-year-old history of the Dubai Golf Trophy, with a convincing 19.5 to 12.5 scoreline.
Close to half of the Amateur team is made up of juniors, aged between 12 to 18, who have all qualified based on the UAE Order of Merit, including Rayhan Thomas, Chris Rahm, Josh Hill and Arjun Gupta. With 10 players from last year’s winning team retaining their places, there is a great mix of youth and experience, veterans and rookies.
Amateur captain Bayhaan Lakdawala said his team is looking to make a statement of intent. “The enthusiasm this year is something that I have never seen before; several players have made significant changes to their work, family and travel schedules to compete in the Order of Merit events to ensure their place on the team.
“The win last year sparked a lot of interest amongst Amateurs in the country. This has led to stronger tournament fields and excellent golf being played in the qualifying events. Coming off one of the most competitive amateur seasons ever, we are really looking forward to competing against the Pros in one of the most esteemed golfing events in the UAE.”
Professionals’ captain David Gray, who is making his 10th consecutive appearance in the Dubai Golf Trophy, commented: “It’s one of the major highlights in our calendar year. It’s a very unique event where there is already a lot of history and the camaraderie between both teams is what the event is all about. With the generous support of Dubai Golf, the event will continue to be the ‘Ryder Cup’ spectacle of the UAE held at two superb courses, Dubai Creek and Majlis.
“With the amateur game at a higher level year-on-year, it’s going to be another fantastic two days of heated competition. I will miss our top three players -- Mills, Munro and Taylor -- who all have prior commitments.
“Henderson managed to break his hand in a freak accident but we have a lot of depth with some recent fine form in the closing events from all team members leaving confidence high. It’s an honour to be captain of 15 stellar Professionals and I look forward to seeing how the event unfold.
Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Golf, said: “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 Amateur team had a fantastic win last year and The Professionals will be eager to get back to their winning ways. 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, which provides a focus for players to aim for throughout the qualifying events during the season,” said Mr May who has been closely involved with the event since it started in 2000.
Click here to view draw for Round One
|David Gray (Captain)||DG Golf|
|Ryan Smith (Vice Captain)||The Montgomerie|
|Callum Nicoll||Abu Dhabi|
|Gavin Sutherland||ETPI JGE|
|Jack Woods||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Joe Marshall||BHSGD - The Els Club|
|Luke Plumb||Trump International Dubai|
|Malcolm Young||Arabian Ranches|
|Michael Major||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Tian Wentzel||Al Zorah|
|Shane Peacock||Al Ain|
|Michael Bolt||Trump International Dubai|
|Dong Lee||Dubai Golf|
|Tom Buchanan||Al Ain|
|Alex Nicholson||The Track, Meydan Golf|
|Rory Young||Al Ghazal Golf Club|
|Bayhaan Lakdawala (Captain)||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Max Burrow (Vice Captain)||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Arjun Gupta||Jumeirah Golf Estates|
|Aryan Chordia||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Chris Alderman||Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club|
|Craig Vance||Royal Tower Links|
|Josh Hill||Jumeirah Golf Estates|
|Martin Fernandez||Jumeirah Golf Estates|
|Mike Mezei||Emirates Golf Club|
|Miki Merza||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Rayhan Thomas||Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club|
|Stephen Loftus||Al Ghazal Golf Club|
|Steven Kelbrick||Jumeirah Golf Estates|