x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Musharrekh not putting too much pressure on to perform

Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the UAE's first professional golfer, says he plans to use last week's disappointment to motivate him throughout the rest of the Mena Tour.

Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the Emirati, said he found his first event as a professional 'overwhelming'. Satish Kumar / The National
Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the Emirati, said he found his first event as a professional 'overwhelming'. Satish Kumar / The National

ABU DHABI // Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the Emirati who last month became the UAE's first professional golfer, says he plans to use last week's disappointment to motivate him throughout the rest of the Mena Tour.

The 22 year old was the centre of attention coming into the Dubai Creek Open - this season's opening event - yet struggled badly with rounds of 81 and 75 to miss the cut by six shots.

Al Musharrekh has had much to contend with since announcing his decision to join the paid ranks, with enhanced media commitments and conjecture regarding his move only increasing the level of expectation.

However, having arrived today in the capital to contest the Abu Dhabi Golf Citizen Open, Al Musharrekh is intent on cutting a more relaxed figure on the course.

"Last week was overwhelming," he said. "There was so much going on in the build-up that it contributed to how I performed.

"I'm not saying the pressure has gone and I'm going to excel, but I realise it's a process and understand how different professional golf is.

"I'll try and enjoy these next five weeks and not have too much expectation. I want to do well, but not put too much pressure on myself."

Al Musharrekh faces a difficult task this week, with another strong field taking to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. Players of European Tour experience in Stephen Dodd and Zane Scotland head the roster, with the latter, the winner at Dubai Creek, looking to defend the title he secured here last year.

"I'm really pleased with my game and I like this course as I practise here quite a bit," Scotland said. "I guess that's a slight advantage but, although it's great to win last week, if you don't capitalise on that it doesn't mean much.

"So the pressure's still on."