Image courtesy Emirates Golf Federation.
By Kent Gray
The Emirates Golf Federation amateurs are seven points away from an historic Dubai Trophy hat-trick after dominating the opening day of the annual Ryder Cup-style matches against the UAE PGA’s finest.
Max Burrow’s EGF team lead Ryan Smith’s pros 10-6 heading into Sunday’s singles matches after capturing Saturday’s morning foursomes and the afternoon fourballs on the Faldo course at Emirates G.C. by identical 5-3 margins.
It means the amateurs need to win just six of today’s 16 singles matches at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club to guarantee a halved match and retention of the trophy as defending champions. But they’ll want to do it in style with seven or more points and Smith’s team are up against it in more ways than one; not only do they need to win the singles 11-5 or better, they will have to overcome a confident team and a suffocating sandstorm that has swept across Dubai.
World amateur No.17 Rayhan Thomas and experienced Bayhaan Lakdawala combined for two wins for the amateurs on Saturday, easing past Jack Woods and Jordan Gallagher 4&3 in the foursomes and David Gray and Mikael Gartner 3&1 in the foursomes.
Newly minted EGF OOM Championship winner Nathan Fisher and Mike Mezei, the latter a captain’s pick like Lakdawala, are also unbeaten after 3&2 and 2up victories over Malcolm Young and Jonathan Craddock in the foursome and fourball matches respectively.
Tough conditions for Day 2 of the Dubai Golf trophy @DubaiCreekGolf | For live scoring: https://t.co/GUeQhE6cxT or download the Golf Genius Software Application and log in using the code DUBAIGOLFTROPHY pic.twitter.com/rEel5NUVFu
— Dubai Creek Golf (@DubaiCreekGolf) May 13, 2018
Teens Josh Hill and Arjun Gupta are also unbeaten (as were Lawry Cook and Bradley Mogire), coasting past Trump Dubai’s Luke Plumb and Mike Bolt 3&2 in the foursomes before an epic halved fourball match against the same opposition.
“We were rubbish in the morning but in the afternoon we were seven under better ball to halve,” said Plumb. “We played out of our skin to halve with them,” the UAE PGA chief executive continued before admitting he was pleased to avoid Hill in today’s singles. “Arjun was good too to be fair.”
Shane Peacock has drawn the short Hill straw for the singles which began at 11.30am. The Al Ain pro will fancy his chances; he was unbeaten alongside club mate Tom Buchanan on Saturday.
Also recording a pair of wins for the pros were Joe Way and Mike Major who will enjoy home course advantage on Sunday.
For those wanting to follow the scores you can download Golfgenius app and can log in with the GGID code DUBAIGOLFTROPHY
— UAE PGA (@uaepga) May 12, 2018