Sportsdesk | January 15, 2014
The UAE’s first professional golfer this week makes appearance No 3 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Having missed the cut on his previous two outings – 2010 and 2012 – he is hoping this year will be third time lucky.
John McAuley caught up with him to get his thoughts heading into the tournament:
On adjusting to pro life since making the step up in 2012: “The last couple of years have been huge for me in terms of gaining experience and finding my feet. My life and my game have changed so much since I last played at the championship in Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait to put everything I have learnt to the test this week. It would mean the world for me to make the cut.”
On mixing it with golf’s big boys: “I’ll be up against some of the world’s leading players, which, despite having faced some of them in 2010 and 2012, is still pretty surreal … This year I am more prepared than ever to compete and am feeling confident about my chances – the most important thing for me is to relax and just enjoy it. That’s when I play at my best.”
On helping to promote UAE golf: “As the first and only Emirati golf professional I feel it’s my duty to try to support growing the game among my own community in any way I can. Hopefully with a good performance I can act as a role model and inspire a new emerging generation of Emirati players.”
On being an HSBC sporting ambassador, which includes giving golf clinics in Arabic: “Off the course I’m really excited to have the chance to spend some time working with local youngsters just starting out in the game in the HSBC World of Sport. This tournament is so much more than a chance to watch the stars, it’s a chance to pick up a club and learn. I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to play my part.”