The Amateur team are going for three-in-a-row at the Dubai Golf Trophy, one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the golfing tournament calendar, held at Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club on May 12th and 13th. Featuring the 16 top UAE-based PGA Professionals and the leading 16 Emirates Golf Federation amateur golfers, the event, now in its 19th edition will see the teams go head-to-head in a Ryder Cup-style showdown.
The history of the Dubai Golf Trophy dates back to the year 2000 and originally started as a social season-ending tournament that was originally held at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The event has since grown in popularity and stature having become one of the highlights of the golfing calendar.
This year, the Amateur team will be going for three victories in a row having successfully defended their title last year in convincing fashion. The total result to date is four victories to the Amateur Team and 14 victories to the Professional Team.
Despite this statistic, the Professional Team captain Ryan Smith from the Address Montgomerie is relishing the chance of being the underdog in this year’s matches: “This will be my 8th Dubai Golf Trophy and feel honored to be the Captain of the professional team this year. Based on the previous two years we are definitely coming into the event as the underdogs, but are more determined than ever to regain the Trophy this year”. Smith, who won this year’s UAE PGA Matchplay Championship captains a team on good form and including his Vice-Captain Tom Buchanan who competed in this year’s HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and seven new rookies to the Professional Team.
The Amateur team is made up of a strong mix of youth, experience, veterans and rookies this year. The team consists of the Top-12 players from the UAE Order of Merit and four Captain’s picks including last year’s Captain Bayhaan Lakdawala, Mike Mezei, Rayhan Thomas and Craig Vance.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club member Max Burrow captains the Amateur Team this year and is mindful of the pressure of achieving ‘the treble’ for the Amateur team: “I am confident the Amateur Team can continue our vein of form in this competition due to the strength-in-depth of the team. We have a youthful team on exceptional form including Arjun Gupta, Josh Hill and of course Rayhan Thomas”. Burrow puts the recent form of the Amateur Team largely down to the quality of the coaching available across the UAE and a higher intensity during amateur tournaments: “We play in events across the region and you now have to score under-par, or significantly under-par to even have a chance of winning. This shows how much the amateur game in the region has developed in recent years and it had certainly been a contributing factor to our recent successes in the Dubai Golf Trophy”.
Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Golf, said: “The Dubai Golf Trophy is a fantastic event to be part of. There is always a strong competitive spirit between the two teams, which always leads to a strong competition. The Amateur Team built on their previous success in 2016 by winning the Trophy again last year and I know that the the Professional Team will be keen to get back to their winning ways”. “The Dubai Golf Trophy was founded on the principle of raising the profile of golf in the region and bring golfers 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”.
Ryan Smith (C)
Tom Buchanan (VC)
Max Burrow (C)
Craig Vance (VC)