Sport - Golf - Rami Samawi
Round One Men's Division leader of the EGF Order of Merit Championship, Rami Samawi (The Els Club), in action at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club Image Credit: Supplied

Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club on Friday hosted round one of the 54-hole three-day EGF Order of Merit Championship strokeplay tournament that is an R&A supported World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event for both Men and Ladies.

Men play from the 6,764 yardage, Ladies from the White Tee 6,200 yardage and the Juniors will play from the 5,800 yardage.

All players competing qualified through the season long EGF Order of Merits.

In the first round of the Men’s Division on a day of warm stiff winds with the golf course playing to a strict par of 70: 16 year-old Rami Samawi (The Els Club), seventh in the Men’s Order of Merit, shot a best of the day round of two under par 68. Starting his round from the 10th tee he went out in a brilliant three under par 32, with six pars and birdies on holes 15, 17 and 18.

On his back nine (Holes 1-9) he bogeyed holes three and eight, but his fourth birdie of the day on hole six, saw a back nine of 36 and a lead of two shots from runner-up in the OOM table and playing partner 19 year-old Jonathan Selvaraj (Trump International Golf Club) who had nines of 36 and 34 in his round of level par 70.

In the Ladies Division: 23 year-old Intissar Rich (EGF), seventh in the 2022 – 2023 Ladies EGF Order of Merit had a first round of two over par 72. A highlight of Intissar’s round was the two birdies on the par fives – holes seven and 18, alongside 13 pars.

Other notable rounds in the Ladies’ Division included: 17 year-old Lara El Chaib (ADGC) with a 73, Anca Mateiu (Montgomerie Golf Club) a 74, Hannah Alan (DCGYC) a 75 and winner of the season long EGF Order of Merit - 17 year-old Jamie Camero (The Els Club) a 76.

The second round tomorrow (Saturday) for both the Men’s and Ladies’ will see the leaders out last in reverse order in their respective Divisions.

The Junior Division is played over 36-holes, with round one tomorrow (Saturday) from 7.30 am onwards in three-balls and their final round on Sunday.

At the conclusion of round one, Cameron Van Rooyen, UAE National Coach based in Abu Dhabi commented, ‘We have a great first round at Al Ain today in this prestigious event on the annual EGF golfing calendar. Some of the best players in the UAE competed, representing 10 of the EGF sanctioned golf clubs in the UAE, so the set up was to test the best of the best. We look forward to the next 36 holes for the Men’s and Ladies’ Divisions and the Junior Division over the weekend. We have been impressed with the golf course conditions as well as the warm welcome from the host golf club at Al Ain.’

Leading Round One Scores (Par 70)

Men’s Division

R. Samawi (The Els Club) 68

J. Selvaraj (Trump International GC) 70

D. Morton (Trump International GC) 72

M. Dutton (Jumeirah Golf Estates) 74

O. Ravenscroft (Emirates Golf Club) 75

A. Larsson (The Els Club) 76

Ladies Division

I. Rich (Emirates Golf Federation) 72

L. El Chaib (Abu Dhabi Golf Club) 73

A. Mateiu (Montgomerie Golf Club) 74

H. Alan (Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club) 75

J. Camero (The Els Club) 76