The Gulf Club

Turkish delight for HSBC Senior Amateur Tour champions

By Kent Gray
Masoud Sobati, John Hughes and Suresh Shewakramani are Belek-bound after winning their respective divisions as the 2nd edition of HSBC-sponsored The Senior Amateur Tour reached its climax at Emirates Golf Club.

The trio will travel business class to Belek with Turkish Airlines and enjoy four-nights at the 5-star Hotel Titanic Deluxe and unlimited golf at Titanic Golf Club as reward for their season-long consistency.

Sobati came from fourth position after the tour’s 10 qualifying rounds to clinch Division A (8.0 handicaps and below) with 34 stableford points at Emirates G.C in the tour’s 18-hole grand final – contested by the top 30 players in each division. Sobati finished the season, where the best five results in the qualifiers are added to a player’s grand final score, with 195 points, two clear of Mark McNeilly. George Fitchet, with 192 points, was third.

Masoud Sobati

Hughes went into the grand final atop the qualifying leaderboard in Division B (8.1 to 16.0 handicaps) and held his nerve courtesy of a 35 point haul at Emirates. He finished with a season-long total of 217 points, six clear of Anand Lakhiani with Peter Boland rounding out the podium on 207 points.

John Hughes

Shewakramani entered the Division C (16.1 handicaps and over) grand final six points adrift of frontrunner John Norton but clinched the honours after signing for 36 points to Norton’s 26 at Emirates G.C. Shewakramani finished the season with 221 points to Norton’s 217 with Konstantin Zorbalas third on 215 points.

Suresh Shewakramani

Tour organiser Tom Luig is already looking ahead to the third season of the 50+ amateur circuit with new qualifiers at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club and the soon to be opened Dubai Hills in the works. HSBC will also be back to sponsor the increasingly popular series which is attracting senior business leaders looking to mix friendly competition with networking opportunities.

“We are already 150 members and we want to make it bigger and better every year,” said Luig.

“The feedback we’re getting from the members is that they really, really enjoy playing with guys of the same age who all have something in common. They enjoy the friendly completion and the networking to the point guys are inviting new friends to play [socially] and asking to bring friends along to the next event. The more people know about it, the more we’ll grow. We can’t wait for the 2018-19 season.”



Kent Gray

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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