On the tee from Scotland…Tom Buchanan. The Head Professional at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club will fulfil his dream tomorrow when he competes alongside some of the world’s best golfers in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship presented by EGA, and he feels more than capable of making the cut and sticking around for the weekend.

In this prestigious European Tour event Buchanan will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of World No.1 Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar and many more stars from around the world.

“It’s been a complete dream,” says Buchanan. “Since Monday it really started to hit home what an amazing opportunity it is. Just standing next to these guys on the range and hitting balls is pretty special.

“The best part of it has been speaking to the players. They’ve all been great when I’ve bumped into them and have all tried to help out and give me bits of advice on how to play the course or how to deal with the whole experience and what to expect on that first tee tomorrow.”

$3 Million Event

The 37-year-old Scot earned himself a start in the $3 million event by winning a UAE PGA qualifier at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in December with a five-under 67 to win by three.

There are two bus loads of friends reportedly coming to support Buchanan for his second round on Friday and he is ecstatic with his achievement, which has been massive for his local club in Al Ain.

“It’s huge for Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club,” he says. “The members have been very supportive and I believe there’s quite a lot coming to watch me on Friday. Friends have reminded me that everybody’s human and that everyone in the field will hit good and bad shots so I shouldn’t worry about anyone else apart from myself. They’ve also offered me some sage advice – the only person that can stop me shooting 70 twice is myself – which is true!”

Great Draw

Buchanan will tee off at 12:55pm tomorrow alongside Paul Waring and 2015 Road to Oman champion Ricardo Gouveia, and he is delighted with the pairing. “I think the draw’s been great. I’ve got an afternoon tee time then a morning and I’m playing with Paul, who I’m already friends with, and Ricardo who I’ve never met before, but I’m looking forward to it.”

“The lowest score I’ve ever had here is 70, but the golf course is much different this week than what I’m used to. However, if I drive the ball well, there’s no reason why I can’t make the cut – and that would feel as good as winning the tournament for me.”

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