Ahmad Skaik
Ahmad Skaik Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Most 24-year-olds in the middle of their final semester at college have more than enough on their hands.

But UAE No. 1 golfer Ahmad Skaik is ready to show his special talents on and off the course as he balances studies with three DP World Tour events over the next three weeks — starting with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links on Thursday.

Skaik tees it up alongside Finland’s Kalle Samooja and England’s Ross Fisher at 1.05pm in a field that includes the likes of Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Adam Scott, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, Danny Willett and Lee Westwood.

The No. 1 UAE amateur has received an invitation to compete on Yas Island this week and will then go on to play in the Dubai Desert Classic — also a DP World Tour Rolex Series event — before taking part in the inaugural Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

“I am hitting the ball well and I really love this course,” Skaik said in an exclusive chat with Gulf News on Tuesday evening — after he had completed his studies for the day. “I always feel comfortable playing here so maybe I can use that to my advantage.”

Skaik played in the Aviv Dubai Championship at the end of last season and famously shot a 68 during the first round to see his name near the top of the leaderboard surrounded by big-name professionals.

“Maybe I can find a few more 68s this week,” joked Skaik, who is looking to turn professional later this year after graduation. “But it is another chance to mix it with the big names and get used to playing alongside them. This is the dream to be doing this every week. I am still hard at study but hopefully this month will be the last time I need to juggle playing and study before getting out there on tour.”

Skaik did admit that three weeks on the bounce in competition will be hectic but he can take it in his stride. “I am in three tournaments in a row and I think I will focus a lot on the golf for the next few weeks. I need to pace myself playing and practising so much but it will be fun. I’m sure I can catch up easily enough on anything I need to at college.”

Skaik practised with his fellow Dubai-based golfer Josh Hill on Yas Links on Tuesday and the duo will be cheering each other on where possible.

“Golf is an individual sport but I would be delighted for him if he does well and I know it would be the same the other way around,” Skaik said. As for his targets this week, he added: “Making the cut is always on my mind but I don’t want to add to the pressure of my expectations, so I will just take it as it comes and play my own game.”