x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Young seals Dubai Trophy victory

The professionals pip the spirited amateurs and Malcolm Young of the Arabian Ranches clinches the key singles win in the Ryder Cup-style competition.

DUBAI // Malcolm Young of the Arabian Ranches completed an excellent weekend's work in the annual Dubai Trophy by holing the clinching putt to secure victory for UAE professionals over the amateurs at Emirates Golf Club's Faldo course yesterday.

The 16-man professional team, captained by Justin Parsons of the Els Club, were pushed all the way by spirited amateur opponents, who were eventually forced to accept a 17 1/2 - 14 1/2 verdict. The winners prevailed for the eighth time in 10 runnings of the matchplay competition, which is run along Ryder Cup lines. Young, who was successful in both foursomes and fourballs on Saturday with Luke Cantelo, edged out Dubai Creek's Dino Varkey on the 17th green to secure an unassailable lead for the pros.

A 9-7 margin in the series of 16 singles rubbers which followed Saturday's eight fourballs and eight foursomes matches saw the pros home as the amateurs gave a glowing account of themselves. Among them were Matthew Turner, who performed with distinction against some of the world's leading touring professionals in this year's Dubai Desert Classic and Khalid Yousuf, who has represented the UAE in that European Tour event for the last two years. Joel Neale, the order of merit champion for the last two seasons, Sean Thornberry and Ahmed Al Musharrekh also enjoyed heartening victories.

The professionals rose to the challenge in an exciting finale and after the first nine rubbers had been shared they took 4 1/2 points from the final five encounters with wins for Young, Steve Chambers, David Gray and Stuart Fee. Cyril Rozes and Alex Charwani from Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club shared a point in the other late finishing battle. The professional team had carried a one-point lead into yesterday's singles. They had secured that advantage in the Saturday morning fourballs, thanks to a solid performance by Richard Sheridan. Along with Andrew Pilfold, his six birdies and an eagle helped get a resounding 6 & 5 verdict over Turner and Thornberry.

That lead was preserved when the afternoon foursomes were shared. Amateurs Miki Mirza and Robert Watts were the biggest foursomes winners, defeating their professional rivals Craig Martin and Pilfold 6 & 5. wjohnson@thenational.ae