By Kent Gray
Joe Way won his first UAE PGA Tour title with panache, chipping in for birdie on his final hole to share the spoils with club-mate Cen Mills at the Dubai Creek UAE PGA Pro-Am in October. There weren’t quite the same optics when he secured the Emirates Golf Club title last week but a win, even one achieved ugly, is a win nonetheless.
The Dubai Creek teaching pro survived a high-scoring playoff to edge UAE PGA chief executive Luke Plumb (Trump Dubai) and Jonathan Craddock (Emirates G.C.) after the trio had reached overtime with one-over 73s on The Faldo course.
Plumb was the first casualty in extra time, a double-bogey on the Faldo’s par-4 1st not enough to match Way and Craddock’s bogeys. The survivors then bogeyed the par-3 2nd before Way finally got the job done with a par on the par-5 3rd.
Way isn’t in the field for the next event on the PGA schedule at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Monday but is well placed in the season-long order of merit in fifth place after 14 of 19 events. Stefan Wears-Taylor, Mills, Mike Bolt (Trump Dubai) and Ryan Smith (The Address Montgomerie) make up the top four heading into the Abu Dhabi, the Montgomerie Pro-Am (April 2), Jumeirah Golf Estates (April 16) and UAE PGA Strokeplay Championship at Arabian Ranches on April 30-May 1.
The UAE PGA Matchplay Championship, which also counts towards the final OOM standings, is on-going with the semifinals and final to be held at Trump International Golf Club Dubai in the week before the strokeplay championship.
The top 14 players in the OOM standings, plus two picks, qualify for the UAE PGA team hoping to regain the Dubai Trophy against the Emirates Golf Federation’s leading amateurs at Emirates G.C. and Dubai Creek on May 12-13.