Dubai: Ahmad Al Musharrakh turned in a solid performance to win the second Downs Syndrome Charity Association (DSCA) Open golf tournament at the Riyadh Golf Club.
The 19-year-old UAE prodigy put together consistent rounds of 73 and 72 for an impressive one-under-par total of 145, beating his nearest challengers Ali Saleh Ali and Mohammad Diad Al Naomi, both of Bahrain, by a good four shots.
"It feels great to win this tournament. The win, in a way, has broken my jinx of invariably finishing second in big events around the Gulf," said Al Musharrakh, the lone entry from the UAE in a strong field packed with top Bahrain and Saudi Arabian players.
"I also putted well in both the rounds. Overall, my short game worked well and that was the most satisfying thing for me," added Al Musharrakh, who has honed his skills under top coaches at the famed David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida.
Trophies for the top three gross and top two net winners were handed out during the prize distribution ceremony.
Starting the final day with an even par score, Al Musharrakh quickly found his touch, rolling in three birdies in his first four holes and kept up the momentum to finish with a one-under-par 72 in the two-day stroke play competition. The first five best gross and best net winners were awarded the major prizes.
Bahrain's Ali Saleh Ali fired the best round of the final day a two-under 71 but his best efforts were not enough to catch up with Al Musharrakh at the finishing line. Fellow Bahraini Al Naomi tied on 149, four strokes off the pace.
Saeed Al Budoor, general manager of the Emirates Golf Federation, congratulated Al Musharrakh on his tremendous showing in the tournament.
"Ahmad is improving with every tournament and it's good to see the youngster keeping the UAE flag flying high on the regional circuit.
"Not so long ago, the UAE golfers used to compete for gaining experience in international tournaments and now they compete for medals. And this mindset amply reflects on the fast improving standards of our players.
"We, at the Emirates Golf Federation, are committed to exposing the players to high-level of competitions and Ahmad's participation in the Riyadh tournament was part of our initiative to keep the momentum rolling," he added.