Mo Craig leads strong field in Junior Dubai Desert Classic after Round One

A field of 52 golfers including nternational international from England, France, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Sweden are competing in the event over the EGC’s Faldo Course

By KT Golf

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Rami Samawi (The Els Club) in action on the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club in action in the first round of the 2024 Junior Dubai Desert Classic. - Supplied photo
Rami Samawi (The Els Club) in action on the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club in action in the first round of the 2024 Junior Dubai Desert Classic. - Supplied photo

Published: Sun 14 Jan 2024, 1:19 AM

Mo Craig (Jumeirah Golf Estates) shot a two-under-par 70 to lead after the first round of the second Junior Dubai Desert Classic this evening held over the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club.

A field of 52 golfers, both boys and girls, all aged 18 and under are competing in the popular tournament.

International players have flown in from England, France, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Sweden to compete with a hugely strong local entry from all over the UAE.

This event is the first official activity for the 2024 HERO Dubai Desert Classic, a Rolex Series Event on the DP World Tour, that is being held next week over the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club, 18th – 21st January 2024.

Craig, starting on hole four in this shotgun start format, had one bogey and five pars in his opening first six holes.

A brilliant eagle three on hole 10, followed up with a birdie on hole 13 took him to two under for the round. A bogey on 15 and a birdie on his final hole, number 3, saw him return a gross 70. Craig has a one-shot lead from Emirates Golf Club’s Francisco Ronnqvist and Viktor Kofod Olsen, who both shot 71’s.

Anca Mathieu (EGC), who was a Divisional winner in last year’s tournament, leads the Girls’ Division after a 74, a shot clear of the in-form Jamie Camero (The Els Club) and Aasiya Saleem (Jumeirah Golf Estates).

The leading overseas player is India’s Kartik Singh with a gross 73, that also leads the net division with a 70, by three shots.

The title will go to the best gross winner who will win a bundle of prizes including a Callaway Driver ‘Custom Fit’ Experience during the tournament week, an invite to the Shubhankar Sharma Junior Invitational in India in 2024 as well as an invite to the Faldo Series Grand Final 2024 at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club.

Other prizes are sponsored by Callaway and Odyssey.

Joe Way, Senior Executive, Event Operations, Falcon & Associates, the promoters and organisers of the HERO Dubai Desert Classic, embracing the Junior Dubai Desert Classic, said after round one “We have had a very competitive first round over the Faldo Course under lights.

"We look forward to the second round after a short night’s rest. We have a closely packed leaderboard with a mix of local and overseas players with 14 players all within six shots of the leader.”

The second round tees off at 7.20 am in a two-tee start with the leading group off at 8.40 am with the three-ball of Kofod Olsen, Ronnqvist and Craig.

Khaleej Times is a partner of the 2024 HERO Dubai Desert Classic.

Leading First Round Scores

Craig (JGE) 70.

Ronnqvist (EGC) 71.

Kofod Olsen (EGC) 71.

Paasilinna (JGE) 73.

Singh (Ind) 73.

Mathieu (EGC) 74.

R. Camero (TEC) 75.

Saleem (JGE) 75.

Chhibber (JGE) 75.

Sokolov (Qatar) 75.


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