Dubai: Trump International Golf Club, Dubai were recently crowned the 2021 UAE Scratch League champions. Gulf News caught up with Graeme Eglintine, Scratch Team Captain for Trump International.
‘‘It was three years ago that we played at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club in the final of the Scratch League and we were beaten. We then all decided that it was a target for our group of players from Trump International to win the league.’
The UAE Scratch League is divided into two Divisions, A and B, with four fourballs playing for each team in a betterball scratch matchplay format. Trump International played in the Division alongside teams representing Jumeirah Golf Estates, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Sharjah.
In the final, Trump International played The Els Club and again, a two-leg match, halving 2 - 2 away, before beating them at home 2 ½ - 1 ½ to take the title.
Eglintine said: ‘‘We established a 16-man squad with a one-team philosophy involving 50-60 supporters from Trump International Golf Club at each match, whether at home or away. This included parents, members and other connections and we created a real atmosphere. We are very proud of our season and our win for many reasons: for introducing lady golfers into the League, where we picked Natalii Gupta to play to represent Trump International and she played off the same tees as us all with no handicap shots and impressed us all. We also this season experienced the tragedy of Viggo Sorensen, which rocked the Trump International Scratch Team, the club and the entire golfing community.
‘‘Viggo only joined Trump International and the Scratch Team fairly recently but he fitted in immediately and made an impact on us all with his fighting spirit. We dedicated our Scratch League Team victory to Viggo. We also have established a number of traditions at Trump International around the Scratch League. The Team Captain nominates a player from our team who is the biggest achiever for that Scratch League season and we present a trophy. I chose Craig Vance who happened to be Viggo’s fourball partner. That trophy will now be named after Viggo and to complete the story, at Trump International we are only allowed to be Scratch League Captain for one season and I have voted in Craig Vance as my successor for next season’s Scratch League Captain for Trump International.
‘‘It has been a hugely memorable season for me as Captain for so many reasons and emotions, and we all wish Craig the best for next season’s defence of our UAE Scratch League title.’’
Trump International then played Emirates Golf Club in the semi-final in a two-leg home and away format and won 4-0 away and beat them 3-1 at home, to progress to the final.
Trump International beat Sharjah 4 – 0 (6 points).
Trump International beat Jumeirah Golf Estates 4 – 0 (6 points).
Trump International beat Saadiyat Beach Golf Club 3 – 1 (5 points).
Sharjah lost to Trump International 3 ½ - ½ (5 ½ points).
Jumeirah Golf Estates beat Trump International 3 – 1 (1 point).
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club halved with Trump International 2 – 2 (3 points).