Byrne and Bagnall set the pace in round one of the Emirates Amateur Open

Changes to his swing have helped the former champion Byrne sharpen his game

By Nick Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

First round co-leader Dan Byrne (TEC) teeing off on the first hole of the Faldo Course in the Emirates Amateur Open at Emirates Golf Club.- Supplied photo
First round co-leader Dan Byrne (TEC) teeing off on the first hole of the Faldo Course in the Emirates Amateur Open at Emirates Golf Club.- Supplied photo

Published: Fri 5 Jan 2024, 10:09 PM

Former champion Dan Byrne (The Els Club) and South Africa’s Chris Bagnall (Country Club, Johannesburg) shot opening rounds of two-under-par 70 to lead the 36-hole Emirates Amateur Open at the Emirates Golf Club’s Faldo Course.

Playing off a +2 handicap, 22-year-old Byrne is trying to win the tournament for a second time following his victorious run in 2020. And he made good his intention as he was quick out of the blocks with three birdies in the first five holes to be out in 33.

Byrne, who is coached by Michael Bolt at CH3 at The Els Club, Dubai, said he is pleased with the results of some recent swing changes he has been working on.

“I three-putted hole 12 as well as on holes 17 and 18 which were my only errors out there today,” Byrne told Khaleej Times.

Bagnall, who turned 20 today, plays off a handicap of +4.5 and is part of the National Squad for South Africa and is coached by Jamie McConnell at CH3 at The Els Club, Dubai.

Bagnall said: “Jamie suggested I visit Dubai to see him and play in the Emirates Amateur Open during my stay.

“I hit the ball well and had some excellent putting. The golf course was set up well and I am looking forward to playing on the Majlis Course tomorrow (Saturday).”

Bagnall is on a Golf Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame and has previously not played either course at Emirates Golf Club.

Other leading scores were from Hoshi Yadav (Trump International GC) with a 71. UAE National Champion Ahmad Skaik (EGF) shot a more than respectable 73, to be in tied fifth. 56 players in the field broke 80 gross.

This is the seventh qualifier for the 2023 – 24 Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) Men’s Order of Merit.

ALSO READ

The second round will be played on Saturday over the Majlis Course with the leaders out last at 12 noon. The final fourball group is Byrne, Bagnall, Yadav and Nathan Seldon (Dubai Creek).

Leading Round One Scores

(Faldo Course, 7,052 Yards, Par 72).

Byrne (The Els Club) 70.

Bagnall (South Africa) 70.

Yadav (Trump International) 71.

Seldon (Dubai Creek) 72.

Larsson (The Els Club) 73.

Neale (JGE) 73.

Skaik (EGF) 73.


More news from Sports