Ahmad Skaik returns to action almost a year after his last competitive start

Over 100 golfers will compete at Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the prestigious Presidents Cup this weekend, but all eyes will be on the UAE’s No.1 golfer Ahmad Skaik who makes a return to competitive golf for the first time in almost a year.

Skaik has been unable to play since last March after injuring a disk in his lower back while deadlifting, just four months after making headlines on the DP World Tour.

The UAE national fired the lowest DP World Tour round by an Emirati in history on the opening day of the 2021 AVIV Dubai Championship with an impressive four under par 68 over the Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

It was the second successive week the youngster had made the headlines after his heroics at the previous week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, where he became only the second Emirati to make the cut.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing golf again more than anything,” said Skaik who will be defending the title he won last season.

“The last 12 months have been very tough and I still get pain now but it’s much better than it was. I’ve been unable to play golf as much as I’d like or hit as many shots as I normally would when practicing – I’m still doing physio once a week and gym work four times a week to get back to where I was before my injury.

“I’m aiming to defend my title this week, but I’m not going to put pressure on myself, I just want to enjoy being out on the course and competing again.”

With this week marking the first time Skaik has stepped foot on a golf course in almost a year, it’s no surprise that his plans to turn professional in 2022 were put on the back burner – for now at least.

“I was really excited to kick-start my golf career after graduating, but that obviously got delayed following my injury, but everything happens for a reason – I’m just taking the positives from it by strengthening my back and core,” he said.

 I want to play as many tournaments as possible this year, starting with this week’s Presidents Cup which will be my first time back on an course in a long time,

“I’ve been on the range, putting green etc. but I haven’t played a round of golf since my injury. We’ll see how my body feels after this week, but all being well I’ll be looking to start playing Men’s Opens again, as well as the GCC Championship and the Challenge Tour when I can. The plan now is to hopefully turn pro after the Eisenhower Trophy in Dubai next year.”

This year’s Presidents Cup, which is sponsored by HSBC, will also see the addition of a brand-new initiative – the Future Falcons Skills Challenge. The Challenge will allow young beginners and families to participate in a fun competition, consisting of chipping, putting, and driving that will take place during the final round of the tournament.

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