The Amateurs Retain Victory at the 2024 Dubai Golf Trophy

Monday 15th April 2024; Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Amateurs have retained the Dubai Golf Trophy with an overall tie of 16-16 after two days and 54 holes of competition across the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club and the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The 25th edition of the annual season-ending event featured the top 16 Professionals against the top 16 Amateurs, comprising 12 automatic qualifiers from the season-long UAE PGA and qualifying Emirates Golf Federation events across the UAE, along with four 'wild card' selections. Additionally, the event included a Ladies Challenge Match with two female players on each team competing throughout the tournament.

A pinnacle event of the UAE golfing season, the teams competed in a Ryder Cup-style event on two of Dubai Golf’s courses to mark the end of the season, showcasing sportsmanship and fierce competition.

Sunday witnessed impressive play as the Amateurs led after round one’s morning Foursomes with a two-point advantage into round two’s Fourball matches, ending at 5-3 against the Professionals. Despite the Amateurs' initial lead, the Professionals dominated round two, also finishing at 5-3 and tying the total score at 8-8 heading into Monday’s final round.

The competition was intense with 10 out of 16 matches throughout the two rounds decided on the final hole, with four ending in a tie and another four won by only a single point. Marcus Dutton, representing Jumeirah Golf Estates for the Amateurs, and Graham Forbes, Vice-Captain of the Professional team representing the Claude Harmon Performance Academy, claimed their team’s respective wins, finishing with a two-point lead within their matches.

Monday’s Singles matches on the Earth Course delivered a thrilling showdown between the Amateurs and Professionals. It was a back-and-forth battle between the teams, with much anticipation on who was to claim the Trophy. Notably within the round, Mike Bolt, representing the Professionals and the Claude Harmon Performance Academy, secured a significant triumph with a 7&5 win over Amateur Craig Vance from Trump International Golf Club Dubai, while Amateur Dominic Morton representing Trump International Dubai won 5&4 against Professional David Gray from the Emirates PGA.

However, the Amateurs emerged victorious as Viktor Kofod-Olsen from Emirates Golf Club secured a crucial draw on the 18th hole against Matt Rice from Golf Kraft, resulting in a 16-16 tie between the teams, allowing them to retain their win.

An ongoing feature of the two-day event was the Ladies Challenge Match, following the same format as the men’s competition. Representing the teams were Sara Engsig and Hamda Al Suwadi of the Amateurs, and Lea Pouillard of Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and Siddhi Kapoor of Topgolf Dubai for the Professionals, with both teams tying in the first and second rounds on the Faldo Course. The teams tied again during the Monday Singles matches, with Engsig winning 6&5 against Pouillard and Kapoor winning 6&5 against Al Suwadi.

Amateur Team Captain, Barry Pavic, said, “Being Captain this weekend and representing the Amateurs was truly unforgettable. Observing the intense matches, witnessing incredible shots, and experiencing the unpredictability of each turn was exhilarating. Playing alongside the Professional team, who exemplify skill and grace, was an honour. Their dedication to mentoring Amateur players is commendable, shaping the future of golf. It's also inspiring to see women competing fiercely, underscoring their significant presence in the game. I'm hopeful that more women will participate in future events to further enrich the sport. With a team of six rookies and seasoned players, we faced a formidable Professional team, resulting in a draw that highlights the strength of both sides. Retaining the Trophy fills me with immense pride, and I extend sincere gratitude to the organisers at Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates and eagerly anticipate next year's event."

The trilling ties, intense rivalry and exemplary sportsmanship displayed throughout the Dubai Golf Trophy underscore the ongoing spirit of the game. As the Amateurs retain their hard-fought victory, and with the captivating performances from both the gentlemen and the ladies, this event stands as a testament to the passion and talent within the UAE golfing community to grow the success of the sport for years to come.