Dubai’s golf community came together at The Els Club last month to do their bit to help fight one of the deadliest diseases on the planet as the Swing Against Cancer Golf Series gained momentum at the DHL Open.

A field of over 70 pros and amateurs took to the pristine course for the third event in the series with four spots in the Grand Final, the star-studded Mike Clark Golf Day taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates on October 26th, up for grabs.

Taking top spot in the amateur division was Englishman Neal Large who racked up an impressive 41 Stableford points off his 20 handicap while Neil Duncan took second place with 40 points from a 9 handicap and Chris Smerdon claimed the third and final amateur grand final spot with a score of 36 from his eight handicap.

“It’s been a really good day and the course was in fantastic condition,” said Large, who will now tee it up alongside the likes of former England rugby captain Mike Tindall at Jumeirah Golf Estates in October to play for an outstanding prize which includes a spot alongside the European Tour’s best players in the DP World Tour Championship Pro-Am, a two-night stay at Atlantis, The Palm and a golf lesson with world-renowned PGA Master Professional Pete Cowen.

“My main objective was to support the series. The prizes at the end of the tournament are all great, but for me it is more about the charity and the great cause behind it. The organisers, Worldwide Golf and Sixteen10, have done a wonderful job and I’m just pleased to win. I’m positive that the final is going to be enjoyable for everyone and I am looking forward to getting involved. I hope I can win it and get to the Pro-Am to play with the professionals.”

Taking the top spot in the pro division was Cindy Lee-Pridgen, who shot 5 birdies in her 2 under par round but as she had already qualified for the grand final at the second event in the series, the Sixteen10 Ladies Interclub-Final at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in April, the spot went to second placed Ryan Smith, who shot 1 over par.

Competitive fields

“I have ended up qualifying by finishing in second place so I was a bit fortunate,” said Smith, who will join the other pro finalists at the Mike Clark Golf Day in competing for a cash prize of AED 5,000 and a 5-star golf holiday. “It has truly been a good day, I was actually invited by one of our members so I have to say that I really appreciate that. It seems like it has been a great series so far and I am looking forward to the final. I think it’s great what Sixteen10 and Worldwide Golf have done this year. It’s fantastic that it is open to amateurs and professionals.”

Winning pros Ryan Smith and Cindy Lee-Pridgen are pictured with Sixteen10 managing director Reza Sazegar and amateur winner Neal Large.

As has become commonplace in the Swing Against Cancer Golf Series, the players were treated to some fabulous on course side-contests offering additional prizes. Prior to play commencing, Gold Sponsors Titleist organised a Scotty Cameron putting contest which was won by Richard Smith who sunk his 15-foot putt not once but twice to bag himself a fitted Scotty short stick.

The Sixteen10 Nearest the Pin contest on hole four saw Willie Duncan win a signed, framed Rory McIlroy photograph while Eddie Davies was Nearest the Green on the 16th and won a Titleist Duffle Bag from Platinum Sponsors, DHL. Ellie Oschmann received the same prize from DHL for her Nearest the Pin on the 11th while Lise Slaine won the Credence International Longest Drive on 18 for a Footjoy shirt and Niki Breeze hit the Straightest Drive on the seventh to win a Mediclinic Executive Health Check.

Great fun for a worthy cause

“I’m delighted with how the series has taken shape,” said Reza Sazegar, Managing Director of co-organiser Sixteen10, the company he set up in memory of his good friend Mike Clark; a former Jumeirah Golf Estates employee who passed away after a battle with bowel cancer at the age of just 30. “We have the support of some incredible companies and over 300 golfers have participated so far to help raise awareness and much needed funds for the Friends of Cancer Patients charity. I can really feel the momentum picking up for the DSA Open on September 14th at Emirates Golf Club and then our Grand Finale, the Mike Clark Golf Day on October 26th at Jumeirah Golf Estates.”

Following play there was a sumptuous barbeque on The Els Club’s terrace where the prize giving took place before an auction raised more funds for the Pink Caravan charity and some outstanding items were won. Among the highlights were a Seawings flight to nature and wildlife reserve Sir Baniyas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi for a two-night stay at the beautiful Anantara Al Yamm Villas and a two-night 5-star stay and play trip to the Colin Montgomerie-designed Dreamland Golf Club in Baku, Azerbaijan.

What the sponsors said:

Geoff Walsh
DHL UAE Country Manager

“I think the whole day from the moment we arrived was superb. The Swing Against Cancer Golf Series is a wonderful cause and for us it is great to get involved and I think this CSR (Corporate social responsibility) event is great. With the local connections and Reza’s determination to set this up it was a no brainer for us to join. To be through to the Mike Clark’s Golf Day is an amazing prize. The Golf Day itself is a wonderful occasion, I attended it last year and it was a fantastic day without even winning and I know that because I don’t win very often! For these players to get a chance to play in the Pro-Am is brilliant, and so the whole event is superb.”

Chris Ferguson
CEO, Credence International

“It was great to be part of a day that was centered around charity and spending time with others that care about the same causes. Everyone knows someone affected by this awful disease and every effort towards fighting against it provides a more positive world for us all to live in. The organisers have put together a great event and have managed to attract a fantastic audience and following. Myself and the rest if the Credence International team look forward to participating and being involved in the future events.

 

 

Frank Murray
Titleist Custom Fitter

“It has been a great event here at The Els Club for Swing Against Cancer Golf Series. It’s a great cause as it is helping UAE residents who have been affected by cancer and it’s really good to see so many players turn out to support the series. The players had a great time trying to outdo each other in our Scotty Cameron putting competition and I had a lot of fun playing in the event afterwards as well!  The weather was warm but people still managed to have fun and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series.”

Links Group Open concludes SACGS ‘double’

The fun continued with Links Group Open signaling the second Swing Against Cancer Golf Series event in as many days, with the action this time taking place at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

A bulging field of over 110 players took to the course and it was a captivating battle with 22 handicapper Qais Qureshi and Young Kook Kim (12) locked in a tie for the top spot in the amateur division after each scoring a hugely impressive 40 points. With a card countback required to find a winner it was Qureshi who prevailed thanks to a superior final three holes. Both players will tee it up in the Mike Clark Golf Day at Jumeirah Golf Estates on October 26 while the player who finished third, Neal Large who scored 39 points, was already assured of his grand final spot thanks to his victory in the DHL Open the previous day.

In the pro division, David Gray was victorious after his 3 over par round. A Titleist Longest Drive contest on the range before play saw Luke Maguire smash a 303-yard bullet to bag a fitted 917 drive while Daniel Aforte won the Sixteen10 chipping contest for a signed Rory McIlroy photograph. Out on the course Glory Xavier won the DHL Longest Drive contest for a Footjoy shirt and John Allen won the DSA Straightest Drive for a Titleist Duffle Bag.

“Links Group is honoured and proud to support the Swing Against Cancer Golf Series as we fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer,” said John Martin St. Valery, Founder & CEO – Links Group, an Equiom company. “We believe that it is in our DNA as a company to help raise awareness and support the communities we work in to create a positive change.”

DSA Open: get involved!

The Swing Against Cancer Golf Series returns after the summer break with the hotly anticipated DSA Open on the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club on September 14th. To register your interest or for sponsorship enquires please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

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