Former Man United treble-winner Yorke having fun keeping it on the fairway at Dubai Invitational

There’s no pressure playing golf in the sunshine, golf is supposed to be fun whether you’re good or not so good, says the ex-footballer

By Team KT

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Dwight Yorke during the Dubai Invitational. - Supplied photo
Dwight Yorke during the Dubai Invitational. - Supplied photo

Published: Fri 12 Jan 2024, 8:22 PM

While former football star Dwight Yorke is best known for his abilities with his feet following a glittering Premier League career with Manchester United, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, this week he has been focusing on a different type of ball, and a completely contrasting skill set, as one of the competitors in the team event of the inaugural Dubai Invitational golf tournament.

Taking place at Dubai Creek Resort, Yorke has joined former NFL legends Larry Fitzgerald Jr and John Elway, along with well-known figures from the business and entertainment worlds, as they pair up with a professional and take on 18 holes at one of the region’s most impressive courses.

Reflecting on his performance at the end of the first day’s play, Dubai-resident Yorke, who partnered British golfer Matthew Southgate, said: “It was a bit of a mixed bag but overall, I’m pretty happy. We would have liked to have done a tad better but nevertheless it was a great time. Matthew was a super guy to be around and real fun, and he’s obviously a really good player.

“This is my local course, so I know it well. It’s playing tougher but if you keep it on the fairway, you can score. However, if you hit it in the rough, it’s pretty difficult.

Dwight Yorke with his Man United players who won the treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1998–99, the first side in English football to do so. - Facebook
Dwight Yorke with his Man United players who won the treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1998–99, the first side in English football to do so. - Facebook

“There’s no pressure playing golf in the sunshine! Golf is supposed to be fun whether you’re good or not so good, so it doesn’t make any difference. You should enjoy it and I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to use the word pressure. I like to have fun, so that’s how it is,” he added.

The Dubai Invitational is just one of many high-profile events to feature on the UAE sporting calendar and, as someone who has lived in the country for a number of years, Yorke has witnessed first-hand its evolution into a major global hub.

“The UAE is a destination that everyone is fully aware of in terms of what it brings to the table, and you can see why everyone wants to be a part of it because it’s such a unique place to be,” he explained.

“I think sport is at the top of the tree, the UAE invests heavily in it and we’re all delighted that it’s happening here.”

Turning his attention to the sport in which he made his name, Yorke, who was a pivotal part of the Manchester United team which secured an unprecedented Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup Treble in 1999, provided his thoughts on his former club’s current plight.

“It’s been a mixed bag this season. There are days when they look good, but I think the most frustrating thing about it is that you don’t know what you’re going to get,” he said.

“I think they’re in a moment where they’re trying to figure it out. It’s been a disappointing season with the team going out of the Champions League and not doing very well in the league, so it’s a really frustrating time for us as a football club. But they have a manager they believe in, and hopefully they’re going to be able to put it right.”

During his time at Old Trafford, Yorke formed a prolific strike partnership with Andy Cole, meaning he is well placed to assess the impact made by last summer’s big-money signing Rasmus Højlund, the 20-year-old forward who moved to United from Italian club Atalanta.

“I feel sorry for him, it’s a difficult time and he’s coming in as a bit of an unknown,” said Yorke.

“I don’t think he’s really got anyone to learn from at the club in his position, which makes it even more difficult, so I don’t blame him. He’s a young lad who has come to play in the most difficult league in the world, so it’s obviously going to take him time to figure it out.”

The former Trinidad and Tobago international had far more positive words for Aston Villa, another of his former clubs, who are enjoying a fantastic season and currently sit second in the table.

“They’re doing amazingly well, I think Unai Emery has done a fantastic job,” he said. “I think they’re almost becoming title contenders rather than flying under the radar like before, so it will be interesting to see how they perform and what reaction they’re going to have.

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“Because when you start being seen as a potential title contender the expectation is greater, so let’s see how they deal with it and where they finish up. But they’ve been fantastic up to this point.”

For more information about the Dubai Invitational, visit https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/dubai-invitational-2024/


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