Oth­man Al­mulla

The Saudi trail­blazer is off to his third Eisen­hower Tro­phy in Ire­land

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - kent gray

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. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.