UAE National golfer Khalid Yousuf (left) will be representing the UAE in the World Amateur Team Championships in Paris next week. Image Credit: Twitter / Emirates Golf Federation

Gulf News caught up with UAE National golfer Khalid Yousuf, who will be representing the UAE in the World Amateur Team Championships for the eighth occasion in Paris, France next week.

Gulf News: Tell us about the Eisenhower Trophy?

Khalid: It is more formally referred to as the World Amateur Team Championships (WATC), and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious amateur events in the world of golf. The French Golf Federation will be hosting the 32nd edition next week over two golf courses, at Le Golf National, venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup and will also play host to the Olympic Games in 2024, and Golf de Saint Nom La Breteche, near Paris, which has hosted the prestigious Trophy Lancome for 34 years.

This week the women’s equivalent, the Espirito Santo Trophy will be held from today, Wednesday 24th to Saturday 27th August, 2022 being played for the 29th time.

The World Amateur Team Championships are a biennial international amateur golf competition conducted by the International Golf Federation, which comprises 151 national governing bodies of golf in 146 countries.

It was first played in 1958 and named after Dwight D. Eisenhower / the President of the US at the time and has a rich history.

Gulf News: This will be your eighth appearance in the Eisenhower Trophy. The list of golfers who have played in the Eisenhower Trophy over the years is a ‘Who’s Who of World Golf,’ tell me a few of the names who have participated?

Khalid: Former winners of the Eisenhower Trophy include Jon Rahm (Spain, 2014), Rickie Fowler (US, 2008), Hal Sutton (US, 1980), Bobby Clampett (US, 1978), Jerry Pate (US, 1974) and Jack Nicklaus (US, 1960).

Other notable players to have competed include Bob Charles, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, Jose Maria Olazabal, Jesper Parnevik, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Michael Campbell, Justin Leonard, Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Trevor Immelman, Matt Kuchar, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa.

Gulf News: What about your personal memories Khalid?

Khalid: We are very fortunate that at the Opening Flag Raising Ceremony we are always standing next to the USA Team, with nations in alphabetical order.

This means we always have conversations with the US players. They always want to know all about Dubai.

Players like Justin Thomas, Jamie Lovemark, Bryson DeChambeau, Peter Uihlein, Billy Horshel, Ryan Moore and Hunter Mahan were all very friendly and I still have many of their phone numbers in my mobile.

Gulf News: What is the format this year for the Eisenhower Trophy?

Khalid: It is the best two players from the UAE Team of three that forms the Team score. There is also an Individual event. The last Eisenhower Trophy saw 215 men golfers competing.

Gulf News: Who is on the UAE Team this year?

Khalid: Our UAE Team is Ahmad Skaik, Abdullah Al Musharrekh and myself. I am confident that we have a good team that has prepared well and we will represent the UAE with pride and do our best, we can ask for no more.

Gulf News: With the UAE and Emirates Golf Federation hosting the 2023 Eisenhower Trophy and 2023 Espirito Santo for women, are there any special plans for this?

Khalid: There is a strong support delegation along with the UAE Team attending this year in Paris. Apparently, the EGF is required to make a presentation about next year’s tournament during the week.

It is very exciting that the UAE and EGF has won the bid for such a prestigious global golf tournament.

Gulf News: Good luck to you Khalid, the UAE Team and the delegation next week as well in all the planning for next year’s hosting.