UAE’s Skaik emerges winner at Presidents Cup

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Sheikh Nayhan Bin Mubarak Al Nayhan (centre), with Ahmad Skaik (left) and Alia al Emadi (right), the Men’s and Ladies UAE National Champions respectively at the presentation of the 2022 Presidents Cup at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Ahmad Skaik (EGF) shot a second round of one over par 73, and together with his first round of 74, for a 36-hole total of 147, 3 over par, to win the Emirates Golf Federation’s 2022 Presidents Cup sponsored by HSBC at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

The prize presentation was attended by Sheikh Nayhan Bin Mubarak Al Nayhan, Sheikh Fahim al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, and General Abdullah Al Hashmi, Vice-Chairman of the EGF as well as Najeeb Ahmed Busheri from the title sponsors HSBC.

Skaik, the 2020 Presidents Cup champion, started the second round with a two-shot lead from four-time Presidents Cup champion, Khalid Yousuf.

The 24 year old Skaik, after birdies on holes two and four, and a front nine of one over par 37, was in full command of the tournament, and with Yousuf shooting a front nine of 40 in the same final flight as Skaik, he then had a five-shot lead with just nine holes to play, and the result was all but confirmed and it was about how many would Skaik win by, not who?

Skaik played the back nine in level par 36, with a birdie on hole 16 and a dropped shot on 14.

Skaik said: “I had a solid scoring round today, although as with yesterday, I was driving the ball off the tee poorly, and even reverted to using an iron off the tee on many holes, as the course was not playing its usual full length.”

On the final 36th hole, the par five 18th on the National Course, Skaik hit a strong three wood tee shot and a four iron to the back right edge of the green. An over aggressive first putt saw Skaik then miss the return and the champion had to settle for a three-putt par five and an eight-shot victory.’

The golf course set-up for Sunday’s men’s Division was at 6775 yards.

Skaik admitted he was still tired, both mentally and physically, after four weeks of events in a row in the UAE on the DP World Tour; in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and two events in Ras Al Khaimah.

“I will not pick a club up for the next one week and will put them away out of sight. My University exams are starting very soon and that is my top priority for the next few weeks,” said Skaik.

Skaik’s University final exams finish at the end of April and then he will review his 2022 summer golf schedule and rededicate himself to golf.

The overall Net Men’s Division was won by former UAE National Champion Walid Alattar (15) with 130 net for 36 holes, and he can expect a significant reduction in his handicap following this performance.

Winning the Seniors UAE National Division (over 50 years of age) was Khalid Mubarak with rounds of 77 and 84 for a total of 161.

The Ladies UAE National Division was won by Alia El Emadi with rounds of 82 and 81 for a 36-hole total of 163, to successfully defend her title.

The Ladies’ Net winner was Faye Alblooshi with a first round of 73 and a brilliant net 65 in round two off a 24 handicap for a total of 138 net for 36 holes.

The Junior UAE Nationals Division was won by Ahmad’s younger brother Mohammed Skaik with rounds of 84 and 77 for a total of 161, winning by six shots from runner-up Rashid al Jassmy on 167.

The Junior Net winner was Abdulla al Suwaidy (11) with 147 net, with rounds of 72 and 75.

On the 9-hole Garden Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the Junior UAE National and Adult UAE National events for development players, not holding official handicaps, as well as an EGDA (European Disabled Golfers Association) 9-hole one-day Division, which was won by Ali bin Sumaida with a 37.

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