Kwang Jae Lee and Shiba Wahid Khan are set to tee it up with the stars of the European Tour at this year’s DP World Tour Championship Rolex Pro-Am after being crowned the male and female winners of the 2018 Luckiest Ball on Earth Series Grand Final.
After a total of 21 qualifying events played across 21 golf clubs in the UAE, which saw more than 1,300 avid golfers vying for a spot in the Grand Final, it came down to the final 36 players to go head-to-head in search of Luckiest Ball glory at Jumeirah Golf Estates over the Fire course.
Khan, who represented Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, put on a memorable performance as she carded 41 Stableford points to claim the ladies title and book her place in next week’s Rolex Pro-Am, taking place on the Earth course on Tuesday, November 13.
“I didn’t expect to win but I’m over the moon that I’ve secured my place in the Luckiest Ball on Earth Pro-Am team,” said Khan. “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing with one of the top 60 players on the Race to Dubai next week. There are so many great players that will be competing at the DP World Tour Championship so it’s a dream come true to know I’ll be lining up alongside them.
“The Luckiest Ball on Earth Series is a great initiative and gives us amateur golfers a great chance of playing with the stars. It really motivated me to play some of my best golf.”
In the men’s competition, it was Lee who finally booked his spot in the DP World Tour Championship Pro-Am after narrowly missing out on a countback to Ornella Parigi in the Grand Final six years ago.
“I putted really well and played with two ladies which made me more relaxed as I didn’t have to focus on what the other men were scoring,” said Lee who scored 38 points and represented Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club. “Six years ago I finished runner-up and haven’t managed to qualify for the Grand Final since. To qualify this year and win the competition feels amazing; I’ve put in a lot of hard work for this win.
“I’m really excited to be rubbing shoulders with one of the stars of the Race to Dubai; it’s going to be a special day for me.”
Lee and Khan will join Fatima Rizvi in the Luckiest Ball on Earth Pro-Am team after the 12 year old won the inaugural Junior Luckiest Ball on Earth competition last week.
The Rolex Pro-Am is the curtain raiser to the DP World Tour Championship to be held on the iconic Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 15 November to Sunday 18 November. The hotly anticipated occasion will be contested by 48 teams captained by European Tour professionals including the likes of 2017 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood, Ryder Cup hero Francesco Molinari and defending DP World Tour Champion Jon Rahm.
The DP World Tour Championship sees the top 60 players on the European Tour’s
Race to Dubai competing for a prize fund of US$8 million plus a Bonus Pool of US$5 million split between the top 10 finishers on the Race to Dubai following the conclusion of the tournament.
Nick Tarratt, Director, European Tour International – Dubai Office said: “We have had 21 golf clubs represented from around the UAE and over 1,300 golfers have competed in the qualifying rounds which is great to see.
“We have two worthy winners in Lee and Khan and a happy bunch of other competitors, they can’t all be winners but arguably they are all winners to be here today.
“This is our eighth year holding this initiative and our tenth edition of the DP World Tour Championship which we are immensely proud of. The series grows each year and we are delighted with the amount of junior golfers that took part in our Junior Luckiest Ball on Earth competition. It really shows that initiatives like this can go a long way in promoting the sport across the UAE.”