The eagerly anticipated inaugural Emirates Amateur Golf League (EAGL) Corporate Invitational proved to be a hotly contested affair at The Track, Meydan Golf on Saturday as the Wealth of Wellness team emerged victorious with a score of 115 points.
“I’m absolutely delighted for the guys in the getting the win out there today,” said Kalani Lal, Chairman of Wealth of Wellness, whose team won a golfing holiday to the Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria, while his company took home the coveted EAGL trophy and will receive a ½ page advert in a national newspaper.
“This really is a unique event that gives players a pro-like experience for the day, so I’d like to send my thanks to Sudesh Aggarwal and the whole team at the EAGL for putting on a fantastic day that not only takes care of the players, but also gives businessman like myself the chance to connect with other like-minded people.”
The event – the latest edition of the EAGL series which has taken the UAE amateur golf scene by storm and the first of a planned EAGL Business Series – saw nine eight-person teams representing some of the region’s foremost businesses go head to head over the Peter Harradine designed 9-hole course in a Stableford format with each individual’s score counting towards the team total.
Emirates NBD, Bentley Emirates, WoW (Wealth of Wellness), Three Comma – Capital Advisors Limited, Shapoorji Pallonji, Satoshi FX, Atari Chain, GRP Industries and Just Golf were all represented while emerging top of the pile in the individual stakes as Most Valuable Player was Rohit Gupta who carded an impressive 21 points.
“I’m thrilled to finish the day as the MVP,” said Gupta, who was representing the Emirates NBD team. “There were some fantastic players competing for this title, so to get the win and help my team finish runner-up overall is a great achievement.”
The Emirates Amateur Golf League, which was the brainchild of local businessman Sudesh Aggarwal, has raised the bar for amateur golf in the region by providing a pro-event style experience for its players and sponsors. Standout features include live TV coverage – provided by Dubai Sports TV – sponsor-branded team uniforms, personalised lockers and caddies provided for all players. All competitors, stakeholders and sponsors of the EAGL Corporate Invitational were also treated to a luxurious pre-tournament ‘dinner at the races’ event at the Meydan Hotel on Thursday.
“I’m very proud at the end of the day we have concluded a successful event,” said EAGL Chairman Aggarwal. “When you’re planning such an event, you have many challenges which you must overcome to see everything falls in place. The live broadcast has been the biggest challenge because you don’t have very experienced teams to cover golf here, but overall, we have managed to overcome the challenges and I’m very happy to deliver the event.
“All the sponsors have been here today and they’re very upbeat about this fantastic event, they have never seen an amateur golf event like this happening before and they all want to support whatever event we’d come up with in the future.”
Preceding the EAGL Corporate Invitational was another first in the form of the EAGL Junior Championship, which was hosted by European Tour star and EAGL Ambassador Shiv Kapur as part of the organisers’ goal of creating unique playing opportunities for younger players in the UAE.
Thirty-nine players representing Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Federation, EAGL Team, Emirates Golf Club, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Address Montgomerie and The Els Club all competed in Emirates Golf Federation-sanctioned event.
Coming out on top with a sensational gross round of 5-under-par 31 was Lorenzo Lironi of Emirates Golf Club while the EGC team of Lirono, Victor Kofod Olsen, Joshveer Chadha and Vidant Pal also took the team prize.
In the net category Tiaan Labuschagne of Al Ain Shooting, Equestrian and Golf Club, took the spoils with a round of 2-under 34 while Vivaan Chibber from The Els Club took second and Ananya Sood, also representing The Els Club, took Best Girl Net with a level par 36.
Kapur, who conceived the junior event, said: “It’s very important to give back to the game. Golf and the city of Dubai have given me so much so I thought, what a great way to kickstart the EAGL Corporate Invitational by hosting a junior event beforehand. The kids who came here played for free and the standard of golf was exceptional – just look at the winning of 31 over 9 holes! I’m really happy to see the standard of golf in Dubai and how it’s growing around the UAE. I hope we can make this the first of many in the Junior Series.”
EAGL League Administrator Priyaa Kumaria added: “The event went very well, we started off on a great note with the EAGL Junior Championship Hosted by Shiv Kapur. I think the pace of play was great and everyone is happy with the coverage and top-notch TV.
“We had about 6.5km of cabling, we got about 16 cameras on course, about 12 RF cameras, 70 to 80 crew members just from Dubai Sports TV working on the TV coverage. This is not a professional event, it’s an amateur golf event but the TV, service, and everything else has been professional standard and I think it went very well.”
To register your interest in the Emirates Amateur Golf League as a player or sponsor, please visit: www.eagl.ae