Dubai resident Arnaus back in action at Qatar Masters
His short-term targets for 2021 include playing in the Majors as well as, of course, trying to qualify for the Olympics
On Thursday, Adri Arnaus, the 26-year-old European Tour player and Dubai resident, currently 115 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), will tee off in the 2021 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, his first competitive golf event for over a month.
We met up with Adri at the Jumeirah Golf Estates to see how he has coped with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in what have been a remarkable 12 months for golf, sports and the human race!
Adri played this time last year in Qatar, the final event on the European Tour before the Covid-19 enforced break.
Adri subsequently qualified for the season ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, and finished T10th in the tournament and a creditable 39th in the season long 2020 Race to Dubai.
In 2021 Adri arrived 10 days early in the UAE to practice and prepare for the Desert Swing in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi.
The new year has seen him link up with the Mike Walker/Peter Cowen coaching team, after being ‘coachless’ for six months and feeling the need for more guidance and direction with his golf swing.
But by the end of a positive Desert Swing, with two top 12 finishes from the three events, he found himself exhausted, especially mentally, having calculated that he had played golf 29 consecutive days in a row.
Planning schedules for professional sportsmen and women are not easy especially during Covid, so playing opportunities have to be taken as they arise.
Adri flew to Doha last Sunday in what he feels like is another fresh start to the season.
He then plans to play the two events in Kenya, having finished runner-up in 2019 on the same golf course that both events are being played on, and then he will review his schedule as it pans out.
Adri has embraced his Dubai move over the last couple of years in so many ways.
He has been working for over a year with Joel Neale as his fitness coach. Many will remember Joel as a fine young golfer who regularly picked up silverware on the UAE golf scene.
During the 2020 lockdown, Adri, with no tournament schedule and little or no gym work, lost 15 kilos in weight but has regained his core strength with Joel’s support and now is at his tournament weight of just under 90 kilos.
Adri’s girlfriend Cristina, also based in Dubai, has also adjusted to a lifestyle change and helped out with the running of the 2021 OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic and will travel to Qatar this week to help out Tour Productions TV at the tournament.
Another key member of ‘Team Arnaus’ is his caddie, fellow Spaniard Bruno who is also his best friend.
Adri has surrounded himself with people he is comfortable with and is happy to let ‘Team Arnaus’ all grow together and learn alongside his golf career journey.
The final member of the team is his manager, Richard Rayment, another resident of Dubai who uses his contacts and experience to keep Adri and his team on an even keel.
Adri is a confident young man with an old head on young shoulders with a detailed focus on his strengths and weaknesses and he has settled very easily into living away from his homeland.
The essential requirement for Adri to get away from golf, especially during Covid, has encouraged him to explore cooking as well as take up on-line chess, after watching Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. He has thoroughly enjoyed both activities and plans to continue to embrace them.
Back to golf, and Adri has practised a lot over the last couple of weeks at both Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates, and played a few times at Dubai Hills Golf Club, where he says the grass is similar to Education City in Doha, this week’s tournament venue.
His short-term targets for 2021 include playing in the Majors as well as, of course, trying to qualify for the Olympics, perhaps alongside fellow Spaniards Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia or Dubai resident Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Longer term goals for Adri are advancing to the Top 50 in the OWGR with the obvious enhanced playing opportunities. The Race to Dubai is always a priority for Adri along with health and fitness and a first win! His dream would be to win the DP World Tour Championship in his new home city, with the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates one of his new favourites!
GOLF THIS WEEK
PGA TOUR www.pgatour.com
11th – 14th March, 2021
The Players Championship
Venue: TPC Sawgrass, Jacksonville, Florida, US.
Purse: $15 million
EUROPEAN TOUR www.europeantour.com
11th – 14th March, 2021
Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Venue: Education City Golf Club, Doha, Qatar.
Purse: $1.5 million
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