UAE amateurs brace up for Nomura Cup

Published: Wed 21 Oct 2015, 9:06 PM

The UAE is home to some of the world's best golf courses and also hosts two prestigious events on the European Tour. And from Thursday until Sunday, some of the UAE's best amateurs will get an opportunity to rub shoulders with others from 26 countries when the Nomura Cup debuts in the Middle East.
It is the first time that the Asia-Pacific Golf Team Championship will be held in the Middle East in its 52-year history and the UAE team of Khalid Yousuf, Rashid Hamood, Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Ahmed Skaik and coach Greg Holmes will lock horns with 26 four-man teams at the spectacular Kyle Phillips-designed Yas Links.
The UAE team also underwent a preparatory camp in France at the European Tour Performance Institute, ahead of the competition.
Defending champions Australia, the most successful team in the competition, will be aiming for a hat-trick in the 72-hole strokeplay event. The Antipodeans have won it a record 10 times and come into the competition on the back of victories in 2011 and 2013.
Japan are the next best, having won it eight times since the competition's inception in 1963. The competition is being organised by the Emirates Golf Federation and Yas Links Abu Dhabi on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.
The best three of four scores each day contribute towards a country's overall total. Hundred and eight of the world's best amateurs will converge on the pristine 7414-yard par-72 Yas Links layout, a testing course nestled between the Yas Marina Circuit and the western shores of Yas Island.
The biennial Nomura Cup is the most prestigious teams' event on the amateur men's calendar for Asia-Pacific golfers.
"The Emirates Golf Federation is honoured to host this prestigious championship for the first's a proud moment for the amateur game in the UAE and for the wider Arab golf world," Adel Zarouni, Vice Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation and the tournament's organising committee chief, said on Tuesday.
"It's another wonderful opportunity to expose players from across the region to top international amateur competition and for the EGF to show the world that we can successfully organise such an important event. It is also a remainder to the global golfing community of the world class courses and facilities that make the UAE one of the game's emerging hotspots," he added. The tournament has served as a launching pad to PGA Tour and European Tour titles for numerous past champions including Brett Ogle, Craig Parry (1985 Nomura Cup winners), Robert Allenby (1991), Brett Rumford (1999), recent President's Cup representative Steven Bowditch, Marcus Fraser (2001) and Andrew Dodt (2005).
The Nomura Cup also boasts a major champion among its alumni in Australian Geoff Ogilvy. The 2006 US Open champion played in the 1997 tournament in Hong Kong where Australia finished runners-up to Chinese Taipei.
 "The Nomura Cup has etched a special and important place on the golf calendar and has come a long way since the idea for this tournament was formulated at the 1961 Eisenhower Trophy in Japan and Shun Nomura, the then President of the Japan Golf Association, put up the trophy," Dr David Cherry, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, said.

By James Jose

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APGC Chairman David Cherry (right) and Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qaismi during the Press conference in Abu Dhabi. —
APGC Chairman David Cherry (right) and Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qaismi during the Press conference in Abu Dhabi. —

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