16th Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Emirati amateur Ahmad Skaik set for Abu Dhabi re-do

Getty Images

By Kent Gray
Ahmad Skaik is doubly motivated to ensure his second shot at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week does his countrymen proud.

The 23-year-old has received an Abu Dhabi Sports Council invite into the $8 million Rolex Series event as the leading Emirati amateur after qualifying for the event last year.

Skaik fired rounds of 84-85 in a nervy European Tour debut 12 months ago but has grown as a player since then, going on to card scores of 76-77 after landing an invite into the Golf in Dubai Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in December.

Skaik finished last in both his previous European Tour starts – spookily behind Englishman Chris Wood on both occasions.

The chance to test his trending game in a field boasting world No.3 Justin Thomas and European talisman Rory McIlroy is appreciated, especially in such a momentous year for the UAE.

Skaik lets rip from the 10th tee on Fire at JGE during December’s Golf in Dubai Championship as Niall Kearney (Ireland) and Euan Walker (Scotland). Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

“It is a privilege to receive the invitation to return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, said Skaik.

“It was an incredible experience last year and a pivotal learning curve in my career. I can’t wait to go back and give my all alongside some of the best players in the world.

“It was great to get out at the Golf in Dubai Championships a few weeks ago, and it was a huge honour to hit the first tee shot on UAE National Day.

“I can take some vital lessons from those rounds into [this] week. Given it is the 50th anniversary of the UAE it is even more special to play in this tournament, and I’m determined to put in a performance to make my nation proud.”

First staged in 2006, the 16th Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship begins at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Thursday.


Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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