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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Chris Williams to return to UAE to defend Sharjah Senior Golf Masters

The South African won last year's inaugural event, beating England’s Gary Marks in a play-off

Chris Williams of South Africa, left, poses with the trophy after the final round of the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters played at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club on March 18, 2017. He will be back in the emirate this month to defend his title. Phil Inglis / Getty Images
Chris Williams of South Africa, left, poses with the trophy after the final round of the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters played at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club on March 18, 2017. He will be back in the emirate this month to defend his title. Phil Inglis / Getty Images

Chris Williams is determined to hold on to his title when the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters takes place in the emirate this week.

The South African made history last year by winning the inaugural event, beating England’s Gary Marks in a play-off to seal the crown.

It was Williams’ first success in six years on the European Senior Tour - since renamed the Staysure Tour - and helped set in motion one of his strongest seasons on the circuit. He eventually finished the campaign second to American Clark Dennis in the Order of Merit.

Williams returns to Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club this week, with the action getting under way on Thursday. He is hoping for more positive vibes come Saturday.

“It was a good feeling winning last year and it was something special to create history – winning the first European Tour-sanctioned event ever held on a nine-hole golf course,” Williams said. “And it’s always good to win a play-off."

The event, which opens the 2018 season, features several recognisable names, with 12 former Ryder Cup players confirmed. Those include former European No 1 Ronan Rafferty, Italian Costantino Rocca and six-time Senior Tour winner Barry Lane.

“As Senior Tour players we get to know each other over the years, unlike the main tours,” Williams said. “We see each other just about every week during the season and we make friends over many years. We enjoy the atmosphere and the interaction between players and spectators, but there is always a competitive edge to the tournaments.

“We are certainly out here to enjoy ourselves, but we are here to win a golf tournament. That’s our focus and that’s our target. It’s an enjoyment to play well and be in contention and it’s most enjoyable to win. When I won in Sharjah last year, it took a lot of pressure off me and gave me the impetus to have a really good season.”

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