The first UAE qualifier for the World Corporate Golf Challenge saw a field of 64 players competing in 32 teams on the fabulous Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club on Thursday.
With more than thirty countries taking part across the globe, the latest World Corporate Golf Challenge will be the largest ever, and the local organisers OnCourse Golf are determined to make it equally impressive in the UAE with ten qualifiers taking place between last Thursday and next April.
Emirates Golf Club lived up to its reputation as THE place for golf, with the course in superb condition and the organisation up to the standards now expected of Head Professional Steven Deane and his team.
With the top three teams qualifying for the May 1st final on Jumeirah Golf Estate’s Earth course, competition was fierce on a day when the windy conditions made the Majlis course even more challenging than usual. The format – with each player’s Stableford score counting in full for a cumulative team score – it was always going to be difficult, and the scores showed just how tough it was.
After a gruelling round in the heat, the home team of Achel Ghai and Nares Handa, representing Avigo Capital, came out on top with a creditable score of 68 points. They will be joined in the UAE Final in May by runners-up Jugwinder Brar and Kush Sama of Prime Tankers and third-placed team Ishpal Singh Bajaj and James Voce of Al Jaz Textiles on 65 and 64 points respectively.
A hole-in-one prize of two Premium Economy tickets to New York courtesy of Virgin Atlantic went unclaimed, but the Daman Investments nearest-the-pin was won by Achal Ghai whilst the OnCourse Golf nearest-the-pin-in three on the eighteenth hole was won by Pentti Tamvanainen.
One man who was delighted that there was no longest-drive prize was Rob Smith, whose drive on the 18th would have put him dead last after his drive hit a tree and ended up three yards behind him. Adding to his woes was the comment from organiser Steve Rutter who was standing beside the tee “No chance of reaching the green in two now, Rob”. Enough said!
After handing out the fabulous TaylorMade prizes Rutter went on to thank the other sponsors –Virgin Atlantic, Visa, Daman Investments and Dubai Duty Free, and the Emirates Golf Club for a perfect start to the series.