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UAE golfers face tough challenge against Scotland

Visitors' top six players to play in the one-day 36-hole Test

Ian Rae, Scotland coach, Chris Vallender, UAE coach, and the Scotland squad at Yas Links
Image Credit: Supplied
Ian Rae, Scotland coach, Chris Vallender, UAE coach, and the Scotland squad at Yas Links Golf Club.
Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE's best golfers will face a stern test of their credentials when they take on Scotland in an International Test Match at Yas Links Golf Club on December 3.

The Scottish team are in the country for a month-long training camp and this event, which was unveiled by the Emirates Golf Federation yesterday, will see the visitors' top six amateurs take on their Emirati counterparts.

Scotland's visit — which last weekend saw their players Daniel Hendry and Greig Marchbank finish first and third respectively in the three-day Shaikh Rashid Trophy competition — is part of the ‘Home of Golf in the UAE' programme, which is a long-term link-up between the two countries aimed at developing golfing talent in the UAE.

The match will be a one-day, 36-hole competition played at the most Scottish of all courses in the region — Yas Links. Held shortly after UAE National Day, it will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the developments the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) has made since it was founded in 1996.

Adel Zarouni, EGF Secretary-General, said: "We may not have the history of Scottish golf, but we are delighted to celebrate the progress we've made in a short period.

"I'm delighted about the partnership we are building with the Scottish Golf Union and their commitment to support golf in this country."

UAE National Team Coach Chris Vallender added: "The Test Match is a fantastic opportunity for the national team to compete against some of the best amateurs in the world.

"It will be a great challenge and I'm sure it's one they will relish."

Training base

This is the second year the Scottish national team have used the UAE as a winter training base, with the support of the EGF.

Steve Paulding, Performance Manager of the Scottish Golf Union, said: "We are thrilled that the Emirates Golf Federation continue to welcome us to the UAE and to some of the best facilities in the world.

"The Test Match gives the Scottish team a real incentive to train hard over the coming weeks and I know the squad are looking forward to the challenge, especially on the fantastic course at Yas Links."

Inaugural event

Chris White, General Manager of Yas Links Golf Club, added: "We are delighted to host the inaugural event. Yas Links is a fitting venue for the Test Match. The first links course in the region, it will provide a real challenge for both teams."

The Scottish national squad, who are sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, who are further supporting the team's travel to the UAE, are training at Yas Links Golf Club from November 19 to December 15. The squad are also supported by Centro Yas Island Hotel.