Dubai-based professional golfer MG Keyser took time out of his hectic schedule on the Asian Tour to speak to Gulf News about his season and his plans for 2022.
The Asian Tour is back with a bang following a Covid-enforced break last year and Keyser is delighted to be back in the swing.
“Obviously when Covid started there were no events on the Asian Tour, but thankfully my management team managed to help out and got me playing in some events on the European Tour — now the DP World Tour,” Keyser said in an exclusive chat at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. “So I got lucky having not played for so long to maybe play eight events in total, including the Czech Masters.
“Now the Asian Tour is returning, and last month there were some big announcements with Saudi Arabia joining the tour, and we recently had two events in Phuket, Thailand. It was great to see what they are doing to boost the tour and really ramp things up. It was nice to see the changes taking place on the tour first-hand over there, with Greg Norman getting involved too.
“In Phuket, we got a clear picture of what we can expect. I am so happy with this deal and the game will keep getting bigger.”
The Saudi International was announced as a flagship event on the Asian Tour, and Keyser is delighted to see more events being hosted in this part of the world.
“Obviously the Middle East is in Asia geographically, but we never really had events in this part of the world on the Asian Tour,” he said. “We played an event in 2014 at the Els Club, but that was the only Asian Tour event in this region. And now the Saudis are bringing the Tour back — it is great to see.
“The DP World Tour is clearly established but hopefully now the Asian Tour can move more into this region and we can get more events in the future.
“For golf, this is the best part of the world and I am very excited — having lived here for so long, to get to play an Asian Tour event so close to home.”
Keyser is also impressed to see local players getting more into the sport, with Emiratis such as Ahmad Skaik in the UAE, and Othman Almulla, Abdulrahman Al Mansour, Faisal Salhab and Saud Al Sharif in Saudi.
“It is exciting times in golf as it is so strong with the Asian Tour — we are looking at maybe 25 events next year — and the DP World Tour,” he said. “It is looking healthy. Living here is so convenient for both the Asian and DP Tour, and the way the country welcomed me with open arms, and all the clubs too. Jumeirah Golf Estates has been my home for the past four years, but I try to play everywhere as all the clubs are welcoming. What the country has done for all golfers is amazing and we are beginning to see the future bearing fruit, with the likes of Skaik doing great things representing the UAE, and the likes of youngsters such as Josh Hill coming through and getting the chance to play with the top professionals at events like the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. I don’t think there is a better place in the world to live, for me and for my family.
“Everything is world class too, not just the courses, but you look around at the facilities. Every course has a proper driving range and practice facilities. That was the biggest change for me. I lived in Bangkok before here and now my game has come on so much. I am surprised more golfers don’t live here and take advantage of the wonderful facilities. I don’t plan on leaving any time soon.”
Keyser still has two events on the current Asian Tour season in Singapore, and he is targeting a spot in the top 60 in the Order of Merit.
“I am currently around 10 spots outside the top 60, so if I can have a good couple of weeks in Singapore I can sneak in and that will help on tour by improving my category and open up more opportunities,” he added.