Tuesday 16 October 2012
Last Update 16 October 2012 4:59 am
RIYADH: Records tumbled from start to finish at the second Irish-UPS Open Championship held at Dirab Golf & Country Club recently.
The four ball Texas scramble format competition attracted a record 161 players that vied for the amazing Waterford crystal vases on offer for the winners. There were so many participants the competition had to be split into three tee times over a two-day period.
Scoring records were also broken as three teams shot 12 under par gross score. Overall scoring was so impressive that last year’s winning score of net 51 would have struggled to make it to the top 3 positions. It was so close that only 4 shots separated the top five teams.
The mulligans (second chance shots), combined with perfect playing conditions, clearly had a significant effect as almost every team shot below the par score of 72 on this challenging parkland course.
Wednesday’s teams set the early pace with the first 12 under par, along with a host of other impressive totals.
The 7 a.m. starters on Thursday began their rounds in perfect playing conditions, with little or no wind, with a covering of cloud helping to keep the temperature down. Scores of 11 and 12 under were recorded once again. However, the teams with the strongest back nine scores were to prove triumphant in the end.
Irish Ambassador Dr. Niall Holohan & his wife, Felicity Heathcote, congratulated the morning players on their achievements and wished the afternoon participants good luck, before taking a tour of the fantastic Dirab facility.
Robert Ruuth, Cathal Gildea, Ryan Awni and Regina Jung shot an incredible 23-under par total of 49 to finish as champions.
The winning team was awarded Waterford crystal vases by Marwan El Kashef, CEO of title sponsor UPS. They also received entry into the regional qualifying final of the Volvo World Masters from Al Futtaim CEO Colin Cordery.
In second place at 50 were Stuart Halliday, David Treadgold, Sheldon Ritchie and Catherine Buckley who all received their trophies and prizes of international Nasair flights from Marketing Manager Rachel Start.
In third place with a score of 51 were Shane Kenneally, Chris Innes- Hopkins, Felicia Funderburk and Tony Robinson. They all received their trophies and prize of a Ping tour bag from Paul Dunphy, GM of sponsor Sheraton Riyadh Hotel & Towers.
Fourth went to Taj Rahman, Graham Walker, Theresa Walker and Ian Hunter, who tallied 52 beating the fifth placed team of Richard O’Leary, Jerry Doncarolis, Graeme Bliss and Geoff Colquitt on countback.
The team of Ian Wells won the longest putt competition and all team members received a dozen golf balls from Volvo –Al Futtaim.
Ben Pacey, the first junior to play in this event, won the straightest drive award of a designer sports bag from the host club.
The prizes for the longest drive for ladies and men went to Debbie Pacey and Anthony Forester-Bennett. The closest to pin to Gary Richardson on hole No. 4, Colin Cordery on No. 7, Ian Hunter on No. 11 and Monika Schiffer on No.16.
Richardson and his team, which included members from Riyadh Round Table & 41 Club, organized the tournament.
Capping the event was a gala dinner for over 450 people hosted by Ambassador Holohan and his wife.
The organizers would like to thank the generous sponsors namely UPS, Salex Galileo, Volvo, Al Fothaim, Riyadh Village Riyadh Irish Society, Sheraton Riyadh Hotel & Towers, Nasair, Alyoum, Almarai Co., Hotel Al Khozama, Axa, Model craft, Arabian Shield, Jones Brothers, Bruce Wade, Riyadh Round Table, Riyadh 41 Club, The RGBB, Waterford crystal, Tourism Ireland, and Dirab Golf & Country Club.
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