By Kent Gray
Not even an inspirational rev-up from golf royalty could save the UAE PGA professionals from a humiliating fourth successive Dubai Golf Trophy loss.
Heading into Sunday’s singles with a message of support from six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo to go with their two-point overnight lead following Saturday’s foursomes and fourballs at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the Tom Buchanan-lead pros were in pole position.
Just Sir @NickFaldo006 causally offering his support to the @uaepga pros heading into Sunday’s Dubai Golf Trophy singles at @EmiratesGC against the four-peat seeking @EGFuaegolf amateurs. No pressure “Captain @tompro66” and team! pic.twitter.com/GWNi6me8kf
— Golf Digest ME (@GolfDigestME) April 28, 2019
But a disastrous start which saw the pros lose 7½ of the first eight available points, including the first five matches sent out, saw the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) amateurs waltz the singles 11-5 for an 18-14 victory overall. It followed 19½-12½, 17-15 and 19-13 victories for the amateurs in 2016, 2017 and 2019 respectively and closed the overall Dubai Golf Trophy tally to 14-6 in favour of the UAE PGA Pros.
“Outfought and outplayed,” was captain Buchanan’s succinct summary afterwards as the UAE PGA Pros contemplate losing the last four editions by a combined 73½-54½. “We’re bitterly disappointed as we were in a good position after the first day and failed to finish it off. The amateurs boys are just sharper than us.”
Buchanan was the only UAE PGA player to produce three wins but even his 6&4 thumping of Drew Foxcroft in the singles was scant consolation.
“Yeah, three points but sadly means nothing as we lost,” said Buchanan who was a sizzling seven under par when he shook hands with Foxcroft on the Majlis’ 14th green.
“Every year we say that it will be next year but it’s getting harder and harder to beat them as they have so much strength in depth. I set the team out to win and sadly from early in the day it was a struggle. Losing the first five matches was a huge blow for us. But for sure, we will be back in 2020 and see what happens.”
Sujjan Singh and David Laing also won their matches for the UAE PGA pros while Jordan Gallagher and David Gray eeked out halves with Zi Ang Xu and David Guinee respectively.
But Sunday belonged to captain Craig Vance and his EGF amateurs who are, ironically, benefitting from the coaching of their vanquished opponents.
Vance beat Dubai Creek’s Michael Major 2&1 to win three from a possible three points. Bayhan Lakdawala and Max Burrow also recorded perfect records for the amateurs following 5&4 and 4&3 victories over Martin Robinson (The Address Montgomerie Dubai) and UAE PGA CEO Luke Plumb respectively.
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20th Dubai Golf Trophy – Final results:
UAE PGA PROS 14-18 EGF AMATEURS
Adam Burwood lost to Mike Mezei 1up
Shane Peacock lost to Khalid Yousuf 4&3
Michael Major lost to Craig Vance 2&1
Martin Robinson lost to Bayhaan Lakdawala 5&4
Luke Plumb lost to Max Burrow 4&3
Jordan Gallagher halved with Zi Ang XU All Square
Michael Bolt lost to Stephen Loftus 2up
Ross McArthur lost to Steven Kelbrick 3&2
Sujjan Singh beat Bilbo Perrot 4&3
David Laing beat Bradley Mogire 4&2
Tom Buchanan beat Drew Foxcroft 6&4
Louis Gaughan lost to Toby Bishop 3&1
Ryan Smith lost to Ahmad Skaik 5&3
Jack Woods lost to Nathan Fisher 1up
David Gray halved with David Guinee All Square
Joe Way beat Barry Pavic 1up
UAE PGA Pros 5-11 EGF Amateurs (14-18 overall)
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 (9-7 overall)
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