Golf: Golden trio set for ‘the day’ of a lifetime

By Angel Chan

RAS AL KHAIMAH 16 October 2017: With the Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge fast approaching, UAE golf fans are relishing the opportunity to witness the future stars of the global game at close quarters when the penultimate event of the European Challenge Tour season rolls into the northernmost emirate and its stunning Al Hamra Golf Club from October 25-28.

Three amateur golfers have an extra special reason to look ahead to tournament week as they will be sharing the fairways with Europe’s next generation of greats after securing their spots in the event’s Pro-Am. Michelle Im, Sandra Chia and Graeme Field sealed their memorable day with the pros after coming out on top in the hotly-contested UAE-wide Golden Ball Series.

The series captured the imagination of the region’s golfers, with a total of 20 qualifying events taking place at 18 clubs across the UAE, with more then 500 amateurs trying to secure a coveted ‘Golden Ball’. The winner of each qualifier battled it out at the Golden Ball Grand Final at Al Hamra Golf Club earlier this month where Im, who was representing Tower Links Golf Club, produced a sublime performance, shooting a net 67, to finish top of the table.

“It was a wonderful experience and I would like to thank everyone who joined this competition,” said a delighted Im, who, along with her fellow Golden Ball Grand Final competitors, was treated to a golf course in pristine championship condition at Al Hamra. “I’m excited about the upcoming event, which I’m sure will be a great experience.”

Golden Ball - Michelle Im, Sandra Chia and Graeme Field

Field and Chia, representing Trump International Golf Club and Emirates Golf Club respectively, both finished with impressive scores of net 72, with Chia sealing the runners-up spot after a back nine scorecard countback.

“I’m really looking forward to the Pro-Am and joining the professionals of this sport,” said Field. “To play with the guys who really know what they are doing will be a wonderful thing. A big thanks to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority for putting this on, they have done a spectacular job.”

Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), organisers of the Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge, said: “The Golden Ball series was an overwhelming success; it certainly grabbed the attention of amateur golfers up and down the country and there was some serious competition, as witnessed on Grand Final day at Al Hamra Golf Club when qualification went right down to the wire with the players battling to secure a round with the stars of the Challenge Tour. There aren’t many other sports where amateurs get the chance to enter the same arena as the professionals, so it will be a memorable occasion for the three winners.”

This year’s Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge will be a true family affair. Alongside the golfing action, the tournament’s Fan Village will feature children’s activities, music, food trucks and a drinks garden, open from 4pm to 10pm from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28, October.