Pros just too good

Kaymer’s stars get the bet­ter of Team Figo at Yas Links Golf Club

Sport360 - - 2018 Abu Dhabi Invitational | Cricket - By Matthew Jones @Mat­tJones360 mat­tjones@sport360.com

Martin Kaymer’s team of sea­soned pro­fes­sional golfers were crowned win­ners of the 2018 Abu Dhabi In­vi­ta­tional af­ter an en­thralling day of golf at the award-win­ning Yas Links Golf Club.

Played out in a Ry­der Cup Four­ball for­mat, Team Kaymer beat Luis Figo’s celebrity-packed Team Figo 8-6.

The +7 hand­i­cap was not enough to stop an im­pres­sive 14-strong pro­fes­sional side lift­ing the tro­phy, se­cur­ing vic­tory against their celebrity coun­ter­parts for the sec­ond year in a row un­der the new rules in­stated in 2017.

The field was packed with house­hold names and in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned tal­ent, such as Por­tu­gal’s for­mer Real Madrid and Barcelona icon Figo, who cap­tained the celebrity team, along­side re­turn­ing play­ers Peter Sch­me­ichel, Ruud Gul­lit and Dwight Yorke.

Ju­ven­tus and Italy leg­end Alessan­dro Del Piero and Trevor Stevens were the fifth and sixth foot­ballers to fea­ture.

Also, the line-up was bol­stered by the in­clu­sion of West Indies cricket leg­end Brian Lara, Wales rugby union scrum-half Mike Phillips, Olympic champions Matthew Pin­sent and Roland Schoe­man and Fin­land’s ex-For­mula One driver Heikki Ko­valainen.

From the world of entertainment came Boy­zone and Westlife pop stars Keith Duffy and Brian McFad­den, plus ac­tor James Nes­bitt.

Team Figo were tasked with tak­ago. ing on some of the big­gest names in Euro­pean golf. Cap­tained by four­time Ry­der Cup star and two-time ma­jor win­ner, Kaymer, the pro­fes­sional team in­cluded Ladies Euro­pean Tour stars Holly Cly­burn and Camilla Len­narth.

Ahmed Al Mushar­rekh, the first Emi­rati golfer to turn pro­fes­sional, also fea­tured along­side Pablo Lar­raz­a­bal and Gary Stal, who have both pre­vi­ously won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

Kaymer said: “It’s been a bril­liant day, aided by per­fect con­di­tions ideal for play­ing great golf. The worked to­gether re­ally well and we man­aged to se­cure a tough vic­tory against some re­ally strong op­po­si­tion.”

Yas Links also played host to the Am­a­teur Championships on Fri­day, which al­lowed the celebri­ties to get to grips with the course.

His Ex­cel­lency Aref Al Awani, gen­eral sec­re­tary of Abu Dhabi Sports Coun­cil, added: “Both on and off the course the new for­mat Abu Dhabi In­vi­ta­tional has been a re­sound­ing suc­cess. We were hon­oured to have such an in­cred­i­ble group of celebri­ties and sport­ing stars com­pet­ing against a great line-up of pro­fes­sional golfers.

In ad­di­tion to the top-class sport on of­fer, the event also raised a sub­stan­tial sum for its cho­sen charity, Can­cer Pa­tient Care So­ci­ety – Rahma.

+7 hand­i­cap in place for Kaymer’s pro­fes­sional team

All smiles: Martin Kaymer’s win­ning team at the Yas Links Golf Club.

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