The Saudi trailblazer is off to his third Eisenhower Trophy in Ireland
A third Eisenhower Trophy appearance is just the start of the fun for this Saudi Arabian trailblazer. by kent gray
“I can’t wait to share my country with everyone who comes to visit.”
As saudi arabia’s leading amateur for more than a decade, Othman Almulla has known his share of golfing highs. ▶ Qualifying for the 2007 Omega Dubai Desert Classic as a 20-year-old, an unforgettable experience transformed into the surreal when he got to meet Tiger Woods, takes some beating. Almulla also qualified for the 2008 Qatar Masters and made a third European Tour start via an invite to the 2010 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before heading to the United States to continue his golf education.
Now 32, the University of HoustonDowntown graduate will proudly represent Saudi Arabia in a third and potentially final Eisenhower Trophy this month. It doesn’t get any better than teeing it up in the world amateur teams championship except for Almulla, who hails from Dhahran in Saudi’s eastern province, it really does. Regardless of how he fares at Carton House G.C. in Ireland from September 4-8, the fun is only just beginning in what is easily the most exciting period for the game in the Kingdom.
Almulla isn’t a confirmed starter yet but given the service to his country’s golf emergence, you suspect he will be among the field for Saudi’s European Tour bow at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club next year. There he will rub shoulders with world No.1 Dustin Johnson and Masters champion Patrick Reed who have already committed to the Jan. 31- Feb. 3 event. Almulla has already savoured playing alongside Ernie Els in a promotional event to unveil Saudi’s inclusion in the Desert Swing rota, a press op also headlined by the cult figure that is Andrew “Beef Johnson.
“I’ve had an amazing ride these last 15 years and now I’m over the moon about the Saudi event in January,” Almulla said. “I can’t wait to share my country with everyone who comes to visit, either to play in the event or to watch, as well as everyone watching it on TV. I don’t know if I’ll get a start yet but hopefully if I do, I’ll do my best to represent Saudi.”
For proof of Almulla’s dedication to doing the Saudi Golf Federation proud, you need only follow the +3-handicapper on social media where he keeps followers regularly updated on his progress in training, often at Rolling Hills G.C.
Coached by MENA Tour life member Zane Scotland, Almulla had a training camp in London with his Saudi team-mates Khalid Attieh and Ali Alsakha ahead of the Eisenhower. The trio will look to climb above the 64th (of 70) and 55th (of 65) placings Almulla helped Saudi Arabia achieve in his two previous world championships at Stellenbosch and Adelaide in 2006 and 2008 respectively.
After Ireland, he’ll tee it up in the Challenge Tour’s Kazakhstan Open (Sept. 13-16) and the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Singapore (Oct. 4-7) before returning to MENA Tour action.
“The Mena Tour has been incredible for golf in the region by giving the local players so many opportunities to play against world class professionals,” Almulla said. “I think the tour is a valuable asset to prepare our players to try and jump into the professional ranks.”
Which begs the next question. Could we see you playing for cash at Saudi ‘s European Tour debut?
“I certainly still dream of turning professional and I’m working hard towards realising that goal. I’m planning to evaluate things at the end of the year and progress from there.”
The giddy ride continues. —