Dubai: The UAE national golf team has taken another hit heading into the must-win Pan Arab Championships after Khalid Yousuf surrendered his place in the squad due to work commitments.
Targets had been primed for the November 24-30 tournament in Bahrain, which if secured would grant the UAE a unique grand slam of regional titles, having already lifted the GCC Championships and Arab Games last season.
Ahmad Al Musharrakh’s decision to turn professional earlier this season had already dented the national team’s preparations but Yousuf’s stepping down has dealt another blow.
Abdullah Al Musharrakh, Sohail Al Marzouqi, Saif Thabet and Saeed Malek will now represent the UAE at the regional showdown fresh from Abdullah and Sohail’s exploits at the Asian Amateurs in Bangkok, Thailand, November 1-4.
Abdullah shot 85-90 while Saif hit 81-81 and both missed the target of making the cut at 11-over. It follows on from a 61st place finish at the Eisenhower Trophy, last month, where previous to Ahmad’s switch, top 30 had been the target.
UAE coach Chris Vallendar said: “Not to take anything away from the other guys, but with Ahmad and Khalid not on the scene it makes things a bit tougher for the new guys. It will be a lot more difficult to win the treble but as a country the UAE can’t end up relying on the same few players to win us tournaments. The new guys will need to knuckle down and prove themselves with this opportunity.”