x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Future is Orange for Thornberry

Sean Thornberry, one of the most promising young golfers in the region, will rub shoulders with some of the finest amateur talent in the world.

DUBAI // Sean Thornberry, one of the most promising young golfers in the region, will rub shoulders with some of the finest amateur talent in the world when he competes in the Orange Bowl International Championship in Florida, USA, from Dec 27 -30. Thornberry, 17, who plays off a handicap of two, has earned the glamorous prize following his impressive run of success in the newly named Emirates Golf Federation Junior Order of Merit. His aggregate total of 137.8 points in six events last season put him well ahead of his Emirates GC club mates Eric Hesson (105.3) and Bradley Able (100) with Dubai Creek's Biren Dey (80) finishing fourth.

"I couldn't have asked for a better reward for winning the Order of Merit," said Thornberry, who is hoping the trip will help him to secure a scholarship at one of the top American golf colleges. "It will be fun to play with the world's best junior players. I am really looking forward to the challenge," added the Emirates born teenager of Irish parents. "The championship will be a good learning curve for me. I am very confident of my abilities. All I need is to stay focused."

Saeed Albudoor, the general manager of the Emirates Golf Federation (formerly the UGA) , said: "This Orange Bowl invitation to Sean will, I am sure, encourage many more youngsters to compete in our Order of Merit events which provide a healthy platform to hone their competitive edge. We are committed to creating more playing opportunities for youngsters. "That's the most effective way if we aim to produce champions in the future.

"We are also in the process of giving a new shape to our junior programmes which will run parallel to the several new initiatives being launched by the Emirates Golf Federation to attract more UAE nationals, in particular, to the game." wjohnson@thenational.ae