By Kent Gray
Sometimes success at a golf tournament can be found beyond the names atop the leaderboard.
The 2020 Titleist Emirates Junior Open was a classic case in point for the Emirates Golf Federation on Saturday after a record 16 players from the UAE National Junior Development Program (NJDP) teed it up on the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club.
“The NJDP is a working success,” said Khalid Mubarak Al Shamsi the EGF Secretary General and UAE National Team Manager. “The EGF had 13 boys and three girls playing in the EGC Junior Open. This is a good example of how the sport of golf is begin developed in the UAE. This also shows how much commitment the EGF has to grassroots golf.
“These 16 players are just the tip of our program. We have over 35 juniors that now have official handicaps and an additional 100 juniors that are taking weekly lessons across the entire UAE.”
For the record, Faaris Cheema (JGE) won the boys championship with a gross 71, two strokes clear of EGC member Valdemar Kofod Olsen. Aarnav Nath (DCGYC) was third with a 74 in what was the opening event of the 2020-21 EGF Junior Order of Merit.
Carlotta Scialanga (EGC) captured the girls title with a 76 while Hannah Alan won the girls net with a 75 courtesy of a better back nine from Alia Al Emadi.
In the division ‘A’ boys (Handicap 0-14), Dilan White from Trump International won with a net 69, while Bjorn Brake (EGC) won division ‘B’ (Handicap 15-28) with a net 70.
Leading the way for the UAE Nationals in the girls division was Alia Al Emadi who placed third with an eight-over par 81. In the boys division, Obaid Al Heloo was the top Emirati finishing T-8 thanks to a seven-over 79.
“During these unpredictable times with the UAE going through the current pandemic situation, the EGF is working closely with the UAE golf clubs and golf academies in order to provide a safe and health opportunity to continue the development of the NJDP. In every emirate across the UAE the EGF is providing Nationals with a way to practice, take lessons, and play the game of golf,” the EGF said in a statement.