Golf Di­gest ME Clas­sic

We look ahead to the once-in-a-life­time dates the win­ners of our King’s Col­lege Hos­pi­tal Lon­don and Au­toRoute-spon­sored se­ries are now an­tic­i­pat­ing.

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - BY KENT GRAY

We talk to the Pro-Am bound win­ners from Emi­rates Golf Club. BY KENT GRAY

What do Tiger Woods, Ser­gio Gar­cia, Tommy Fleet­wood and Miguel Án­gel Jiménez all have in com­mon?

Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic wins would be a close guess with Woods (2006 and 2008) a two-time win­ner of the famed Dal­lah tro­phy, fol­lowed by Spaniards Jiménez (2010) and Gar­cia (2017). Fleet­wood is, of course, the odd man out but does boast a pair of Abu Dhabi HSBC Cham­pi­onship ti­tles.

But the an­swer is a lit­tle more ob­scure as it comes from the 11th Golf Di­gest Mid­dle

East Clas­sic last month where the three win­ners at Emi­rates Golf Club were asked who their dream Pro-Am part­ner would be af­ter claim­ing golf­ing dates with the stars as their re­spec­tive prizes.

Stephen Scott was un­equiv­o­cal af­ter cap­tur­ing divi­sion A (0-10 hand­i­caps) on the Ma­jlis and a start in Jan­uary’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Cham­pi­onship Pro-Am with 37 points.

“Def­i­nitely Tiger Woods, best player ever and he was my golf­ing idol grow­ing up,” said the Ara­bian Ranches and Dubai Hills mar­ket­ing man­ager who fin­ished three Stable­ford points clear of Ray­mond Lu­cas. “It’s great see­ing him com­pet­ing again. Can you pair me up with him?”

We’re not sure Tiger is lined up for Abu Dhabi, Stephen, but will surely ask if he does make a shock ap­pear­ance. Maybe the for­mer world No. 1 will make an­other ap­pear­ance at the 30th an­niver­sary edi­tion of the Desert Clas­sic where Shawn Wel­ge­moed will tee it up in the pro­ceed­ing Pro-Am af­ter win­ning divi­sion B (11-24 hand­i­caps) of the GD Clas­sic with 36 points, two clear of Kiwi Rick McIn­tyre.

The Jig­gers Golf So­ci­ety 13-hand­i­cap­per didn’t specif­i­cally re­quest Tiger but we’re pick­ing Wel­ge­moed wouldn’t gripe, even if one of his first choice part­ners was avail­able.

“I think any of the top 10 or Ry­der Cup stars like Tommy Fleet­wood or Ser­gio Gar­cia would be a nat­u­ral choice, but I would love to walk the fair­ways and puff a cigar along­side a charis­matic char­ac­ter like Miguel Án­gel Jiménez.”

Yana Jamieson, win­ner of the women’s Golf Di­gest Mid­dle East Clas­sic, again proudly pre­sented by King’s Col­lege Hos­pi­tal Lon­don and

TIGER BE­CAUSE OF HIS IN­CRED­I­BLE COMEBACK... HE SEEMS TO BE A MUCH MORE EN­GAG­ING PER­SON TO CHAT WITH.

Au­toRoute, will tee it up in next May’s Omega Dubai Moon­light (for­merly Ladies) Clas­sic. But it didn’t stop her also dream­ing of a tee time with Woods.

“Tiger be­cause of his re­mark­able tal­ents and the in­cred­i­ble comeback from in­jury and he seems to be a much more en­gag­ing per­son to chat with,” Jamieson said. “If Tiger is busy, I would in­vite Ser­gio to prac­tice my Span­ish and talk about the Ry­der Cup.”

Jamieson is no stranger to ProAms, hav­ing played at Dubai’s Ladies Euro­pean Tour stop the last seven years, in­clud­ing in 2016 when she and Josie Tracey qual­i­fied af­ter win­ning the Emi­rates G.C. Ladies Dou­bles Match­play Cham­pi­onship.

“Last year we had re­ally en­joy­able round with LPGA pro­fes­sional Emma Cabr­era Bello,” Jamieson re­called be­fore re­flect­ing on her ef­forts in the

Golf Di­gest ME Clas­sic. “The chal­lenge was to fo­cus on the game amidst the con­tin­u­ous chat with good com­pany [she played along­side James Wil­liams, the Emi­rates G.C. pro’s son and new MENA Tour GM Rob­bie Wil­liams and Golf Di­gest Mid­dle East pub­lisher David Burke] and pitch the ball close to the hole.

“Re­cent lessons on the short game with our [Emi­rates G.C.] head pro Stephen Deane have proven to be a saviour. Thanks, Stephen again… now I need a putting les­son! Ab­so­lutely de­lighted to win this spe­cial prize, so will start prac­tis­ing!”

Wel­ge­moed has teed it up in a Pro-Am pre­vi­ously but the Desert Clas­sic start will be at an­other level, re­gard­less of which Euro­pean Tour star he is part­nered with.

“We were paired with club and teach­ing pros in the 2007 Peu­geot In­ter­na­tional Pro-Am in Paris but it doesn’t come close to be able to tee it up in the Desert Clas­sic,” said Wel­ge­moed who over­came scor­ing blobs on the 17th and 18th at the Ma­jlis to play his fi­nal four holes in even par, in­clud­ing a bril­liant birdie on his fi­nal hole when he knocked an 8 iron to seven feet on the par-4 3rd and rolled in the putt for a four-pointer.

“An in­vite to play in the Dubai Desert Clas­sic Pro-Am with the world’s best play­ers is un­real, some­thing most am­a­teurs can only dream of.”

Scott, who also won the long­est drive with what was, co­in­ci­dently, his very first shot of the Golf Di­gest Mid­dle

East Clas­sic, is in for a unique ex­pe­ri­ence in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s fan­tas­tic. I have never played in a Pro-Am and it is some­thing I had al­ways wanted to do. Never in a mil­lion years did I ex­pect to win divi­sion A and end up in the Pro-Am.”

tom buchanan,franco botha, stephen scott,howie roberts

au­toroute

rob­bie wil­liams

scott gre­gory

gra­ham raynor

ricky domingez

caro­line rosen­stock

yana jamieson, david burke

shawn wel­ge­moed, david burke

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