x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Time will tell if Ahmed Al Musharrekh leapt too soon to the pro ranks

While Ahmed Al Musharrekh's determination to prove himself in the game should be applauded, his decision this week to turn professional carries a little caution, too.

Some observers are saying that Ahmed Musharrekh may have better served himself to wait after playing the Mena Tour to announce his decision to turn professional.
Some observers are saying that Ahmed Musharrekh may have better served himself to wait after playing the Mena Tour to announce his decision to turn professional.

 

While Ahmed Al Musharrekh's determination to prove himself in the game should be applauded, his decision this week to turn professional carries a little caution, too.

The Sharjah-born 21 year old became the UAE's first professional golfer on the eve of the second Mena Tour season, meaning he enters the tournament with raised expectations and under yet more pressure to perform.

The top three professionals in the Order of Merit are awarded a place in next year's Dubai Desert Classic, while the leading amateur also receives a spot. Given that this month Mena Tour organisers revealed 335 professionals have already registered, Al Musharrekh will realise competition is stiff for those Desert Classic positions.

By leaving the amateur ranks, he could have limited his immediate opportunities to gain valuable experience in professional tournaments in this country.

Being afforded the chance to compete in a European Tour event provides a crucial insight into the demands of professional golf and better highlights which facets of the game require improvement.

If Al Musharrekh does not make the top three in the Mena, he will need to enter qualifying school to earn his card and make professional tournaments on merit.

Chris Vallender, the UAE national team coach, said he thought Al Musharrekh should have delayed his decision and continued a steady progression.

His performances during the next few months will prove his mentor either right or wrong.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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