Strong wind separates boys from the men as Yas Links ‘bares its teeth’

Dubai Creek’s Seldon shoots a 71 to lead the Abu Dhabi Men’s Open by one shot

By Nick Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer

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Dan Byrne (The Els Club) teeing off tee one in the first round of the Yas Links Abu Dhabi Men's Open. - Supplied photo
Dan Byrne (The Els Club) teeing off tee one in the first round of the Yas Links Abu Dhabi Men's Open. - Supplied photo

Published: Sat 27 Jan 2024, 6:54 PM

Nathan Seldon (Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club) shot a one under par 71 to lead by one shot after a challenging round one of the Yas Links Abu Dhabi Men’s Open at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

The event is a qualifier for the 2023 - 2024 Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) Men’s Order of Merit with play from the Tee 70’s course playing at 6,849 yards – par 72.

Seldon birdied holes two and seven teeing off from tee one - followed by a double on eight and bogey on nine to be out in 37.

Birdies on holes 10 and 11, a bogey on 15 was finished by a classic birdie on the par five 18th – to be home in 34 – to shoot the only sub-par of the day.

Other notable scores were from home player Ben Alexander (Yas Links) on level par 72 with six birdies – two bogeys and two doubles. Alexander leads the Net Division off his 3 handicap with a net 69.

Padraig Curry (Yas Links) on 74 lies is in solo third gross, two ahead of a pair on 76.

Defending champion Marcus Dutton (JGE) shot a disappointing nine over 81.

The second round will be played tomorrow (Sunday) with the leaders out last.

Martin Duff, Director of Golf, Yas Links Abu Dhabi, commented after round one: “It was typical links golf out there today – at least a two club wind.

“The strongest breeze we have had for a while and the best players did well. Those that struggled really struggled, it separated the men from the boys.

“Just 13 players beat 80 gross today. Yas Links showed its teeth today – with such an elite field.

The full field of 72 players all turned up – we are confident that it was a fair test for all today. We are looking forward to the drama of the final round tomorrow.’

The 2024 Yas Links Abu Dhabi Open is supported by Al Masood Automobiles.

Leading First Round Scores

(6,849 Yards, Par 72).

N. Seldon (DCGYC) 71.

B. Alexander (YLAD) 72.

P. Curry (YLAD) 74.

O. Ayton (DCGYC) 76.

N. Ferdonnet (EGF) 76.

D. Byrne (The Els Club) 77.

J. Griffiths (YLAD) 77.

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