By Kent Gray
Respective captains Tom Buchanan and Craig Vance have lead from the front as the 20th Dubai Golf Trophy looks set for a nerve-jangling climax at Emirates Golf Club on Sunday.
Buchanan will have slept slightly easier with the UAE PGA professionals heading into Sunday’s 16 singles matches on the Majlis with a 9-7 lead as they look to avoid a fourth successive loss in the Ryder Cup-style matches.
The Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club pro teamed with UAE PGA chief executive Luke Plumb for back-to-back wins over UAE national team amateurs Ahmad Skaik and Khalid Yousuf, 2&1 and 3&1 in the Saturday’s foursomes and fourballs at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club respectively. But the heat will remain in the UAE pros given the amateurs dominance since 2016, even though the pros lead the overall Dubai Golf Trophy count 15-4 dating back to the year 2000.
Vance and vice-captain Steven Kelbrick join Buchanan and Plumb as they only players with two points each heading into Sunday. They edged Shane Peacock and Ross McArthur 1 up in the foursomes and 3&2 in the fourballs.
Bayhan Lakdawala and Max Burrow are undefeated thanks to a birdie three on the Creek’s notoriously tricky 18th by Lakdawala which enabled the duo to earn a half with Ryan Smith and David Gray in the fourballs after they’d earlier edged the pros 2&1 in the foursomes.
Partnering Bradley Mogire, Mike Mezei also recorded a final hole birdie to earn the amateurs another critical half in the fourballs against Michael Major and Joe Way.
Four UAE PGA pros will also go into Sunday with 1.5 of a possible two points: Adam Burwood, Jack Woods, Sujjan Singh and Michael Bolt. Burwood and Woods won their last hole in the foursomes to earn a half with Bilbo Perrot and Stephen Loftus while Singh and Bolt lost their final hole, also in the morning foursomes, to half with Zi Ang Xu and Nathan Fisher.
Here’s the draw for Sunday’s singles:
UAE PGA PROS v EGF AMATEURS
11.30am: Adam Burwood v Mike Mezei
11.40am: Shane Peacock v Khalid Yousuf
11.50am: Michael Major v Craig Vance
12.00pm: Martin Robinson v Bayhaan Lakdawala
12.10pm: Luke Plumb v Max Burrow
12.20pm: Jordan Gallagher v Zi Ang XU
12.30pm: Michael Bolt v Stephen Loftus
12.40pm: Ross McArthur v Steven Kelbrick
12.50pm: Sujjan Singh v Bilbo Perrot
1.00pm: David Laing v Bradley Mogire
1.10pm: Tom Buchanan v Drew Foxcroft
1.20pm: Louis Gaughan v Toby Bishop
1.30pm: Ryan Smith v Ahmad Skaik
1.40pm: Jack Woods v Nathan Fisher
1.50pm: David Gray v David Guinee
2.00pm: Joe Way v Barry Pavic
And the results from Saturday:
Ryan Smith/David Gray Lost to Bayhaan Lakdawala/Max Burrow 2 & 1
Shane Peacock/Ross McArthur Lost to Craig Vance/Steven Kelbrick 1down
Michael Major/Joe Way beat Mike Mezei/Bradley Mogire 4&3
Adam Burwood/Jack Woods Halved with Bilbo Perrot/Stephen Loftus
Tom Buchanan/Luke Plumb Beat Ahmad Skaik/Khalid Yousuf 2 & 1
Jordan Gallagher/Louis Gaughan Beat Toby Bishop/David Guinee 3 & 2
Martin Robinson/David Laing Beat Drew Foxcroft/Barry Pavic 5 & 4
Sujjan Singh/Michael Bolt Halved with Zi Ang XU/Nathan Fisher
UAE PGA Pros 5-3 EGF Amateurs
Afternoon Fourballs (Betterball)
Ryan Smith/David Gray Halved with Bayhaan Lakdawala/Max Burrow
Shane Peacock/Ross McArthur Lost to Craig Vance/Steven Kelbrick 3&2
Michael Major/Joe Way Halved with Mike Mezei/Bradley Mogire
Adam Burwood/Jack Woods Beat Bilbo Perrot/Stephen Loftus 2down
Tom Buchanan/Luke Plumb Beat Ahmad Skaik/Khalid Yousuf 3&1
Jordan Gallagher/Louis Gaughan Lost to Toby Bishop/David Guinee 1down
Martin Robinson/David Laing Lost to Drew Foxcroft/Barry Pavic 3&2
Sujjan Singh/Michael Bolt beat Zi Ang XU/Nathan Fisher 4&3
UAE PGA Pros 4-4 EGF Amateurs
OVERALL: UAE PGA Pros 9-7 EGF Amateurs