The 2019 DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series started with a bang as 92 golfers and 160 evening guests joined Liverpool FC legend John Barnes and Wimbledon FC star Dean Holdsworth for the DHL Open at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club to raise more than US$35,000for the Friends of Cancer Patients charity; the money going directly to the treatment and long term scans, therapy and rehabilitation for 13-year-old Randolph Palomar, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016.
“It’s always great to be in Dubai, I have visited three times a year for the last 15 years so when I was told about Randolph and the issues he was going through I was very keen to jump on board and help the cause,” said Barnes, who scored 84 goals in 314 appearances for the Reds.
“Being a father of seven children myself I know how important it is to raise them, nurture them and to give them an opportunity so it gives me great pleasure to come and help out at this fantastic series.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel for Randolph and he has had chemotherapy which he is recovering from but of course there is a hard road ahead of him. A lot of people believe that once you’ve had a fundraiser and raise money for chemotherapy then that’s the end of it but that’s when the fight actually starts to get back to a normal life.”
The afternoon golf event, in which the players were kitted out in stylish branded shirts provided by Golf Superstore, saw Leo Bolton take home top spot with an impressive 42 Stableford points with Joe Ghossoub finishing second on 38 points. Both men will now qualify for the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series Grand Final, the Mike Clark Golf Day, which takes place on the Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 7th where a place in the Pro-Am at the star-studded DP World Tour Championship will be up for grabs.
Holdsworth, who played with Platinum Sponsor DSA Architects International’s group, was thrilled to be a part of the UAE’s biggest charity golf series which is also supported by Hotel Partner Fairmont Dubai as well as hole sponsors HAE Group, Fearnley International Group and Integro Search.
“I am really delighted to be a part of this of this superb initiative,” said the former ‘Crazy Gang’ star. “It is a special place, beautiful golf course and it is a great reason for us to get together to play some golf and get involved in a wonderful cause.
“It’s vital to raise money to support cancer patients around the world. Everyone gets affected by cancer at some point in their lives, we all know someone who has been through it and as tragic as it is we need to use as many high-profile personalities as possible to raise money and awareness to cure it at some point.”
The DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series, which is organised by Worldwide Golf and Sixteen10, launched in 2017 and has captured the imagination of the UAE’s golf and business communities as well as gaining support from a string celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment including Harry Redknapp, Mike Tindall, Michael Campbell, Teddy Sheringham, Gary McAllister, Lee Sharpe, Robbie Fowler, Matt Le Tissier, Ian Bell and Brian McFadden.
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The series has grown out of the Mike Clark Golf Day, a charity golf day that was started in honour of Mike Clark, a much-loved figure on the local golf scene who worked at Jumeirah Golf Estates and sadly died of bowel cancer in 2012.
A total of US$300,000 has been raised so far and the 2019 series looks set to raise the bar yet further with an international event for the first time at Newmachar Golf Club, Aberdeen, Scotland with the Fearnley International Open on Friday June 14th before returning to the UAE for the hugely popular DSA Open on Thursday September 19th and then the climax to the series, the Grand Final, which is hosted in conjunction with the Mike Clark Golf Day, will be held at Jumeirah Golf Estates on the Fire course on Thursday November 7th.
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“It’s been another amazing day and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club have treated us very well,” said DHL Country Manager Geoff Walsh. “This is our second year as Title Sponsor and we’re delighted to be continuing that journey from the corporate social responsibility side of it but it’s also a no brainer to be joining in the great work that Sixteen10 and Worldwide Golf have put into this series.
“Everyone is touched by cancer so be play a small part in the fight against it is great for us and having the DHL brand associated is wonderful so we want to keep this going as long as we can.” – Geoff Walsh, DHL Country Manager .
Following play there was a glitzy gala dinner on Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club’s spectacular terrace staged by Eclipse Staging Services where some top-class items donated by a host of partners including were snapped up in a charity auction and prizes were won in the series’ favourite ‘What Happened Next’ game, Presented by Fairmont The Palm,before Holdsworth and Barnes entertained guests with a live Q&A. Items were donated by a host of partners including DHL, Verdura Resorts, The Visiting Tailor, The Irish Village Dubai, Enviroserve, as well as John Barnes and Dean Holdsworth themselves.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without Barnes performing his iconic rap from New Order’s legendary 1990 World Cup song, World in Motion, and the England starlet duly obliged with guests joining in the fun by singing along on stage.