Skaik takes two-shot lead at 2022 Presidents Cup

UAE’s Ahmad Skaik (EGF) shot a first round of two over par 74, to take a two-shot lead into Sunday’s second and final round of the 2022 Presidents Cup sponsored by HSBC at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

The 24-year-old UAE’s top national golfer, Skaik, winner of the Presidents Cup in 2020, which was played at the neighbouring course at Yas Links, Abu Dhabi, was out in two over par 38, having teed off on hole 1.

He came back on level par with a birdie on the home hole, his only other birdie came on hole 3.

On completing his round Ahmad, the current Number 31 in the R&A’s Men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) commented: “I was far too wild off the tee today. My approach shots, mainly hit the greens in regulation, but were too far away from the pin, and I did well to two putt some of them. Hitting too many approach shots from the rough is never ideal around this or any golf course, with some shots flying and others dying on me.

“I was unlucky on hole 7, where my tee shot plugged in the greenside bunker and I had to settle for a bogey four. I know what I have to work on before tomorrow’s (Sunday) second round, it is my tee shots.’

The National Course for the first round was set up at 6513 yards, par 72.

Sunday’s course will be set up for the Men’s Division slightly longer at 6775 yards.

In second place in this 36-hole UAE National Championship, is Khalid Yousuf, four-time Presidents Cup champion, including victory in 2021, with a four over par 76, with two birdies on holes 2 and 16 and six bogeys.

In addition to Skaik and Yousuf, five other players broke 80, Omar Thabit, Walid Alattar, Obaid al Heloo, Khaled al Salmeen and Rashed al Emadi, all with 79’s.

Leading the Seniors UAE National Division, who played from the more generous white tees is Khalid Mubarak with a gross 77.

Abdulrahman Allaqeeti (26) arguably shot one of the rounds of the day, with a gross 86 and net 60, which will be looked at seriously by the Presidents Cup organisers, the Emirates Golf Federation for handicap revision post event.

The Ladies UAE National Division is led by Reema Al Heloo with an 81, closely followed by 2021 UAE National Ladies Champion, Alia Al Emadi and Aliya Al Qubaisi both shooting 82.

The Junior UAE Nationals Division is led by Abdulla al Suwaidi with a gross 83, followed by Mohammad Skaik (84) and Rashid Al Jassmy (86).

On the 9-hole Garden Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, tomorrow (Sunday) there are Junior UAE National and Adult UAE National events for development players, not holding official handicaps, as well as an EGDA (European Disabled Golfers Association) Division. These events have tee times from 11 am.

83 players competed in the first round of the Presidents Cup, with Sheikh Fahim al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, striking one of the opening tee shots in the first group of the day.


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