Tuesday, October 03, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 17, 1445 H
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Oman win silver, bronze in Pan Arab junior golf

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MUSCAT: After a wait of three years the Pan Arab Junior Golf Championships made a welcome return when they were played at Golf Citrus, Hammamet, Tunisia from October 6 to 8.

The event, featuring the strongest teams from the Pan Arab region, was played over three days with five divisions, Oman fielding teams at Under 18, Under 15, and Under 13 level. The team scores were made up of the best two gross scores each day from the team of three, individual performances were also awarded.

At Under 13 level, Oman were represented by Yousef al Rumhy (9) and Mohib al Kathiri (12), for both players it was their first experience of national team golf. They carried themselves very well finishing a creditable 15th and 11th in the individual standings over the two rounds.

Oman team manager Peter Bailey said: “This years’ Pan Arab Championships provided an ideal opportunity to give some of our younger players their first taste of national team golf. While representing your country for the first time at any age is undoubtedly very daunting, events such as the GOjuniors Tour and the work that we have been doing in preparation for this event are key in preparing our young golfers so that they are not overwhelmed and can both enjoy and benefit from the experience of events like this. Mahir, Mohib and Yousef have deservedly earned their place on the team and I am sure that this will be the first of many events that they play in.”

The Under 15 team was made up of Adam al Barwani, Faris al Busaidy, and Mahir Sampat. With Adam and Faris having played for the national team on several occasions, hopes were high for a strong performance. The team did not disappoint, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal and ultimately finishing in fourth place over the three rounds. In the individual event, Adam also secured fourth closing with a 77 on the final day, his best score of the week. The gold team prize was won by hosts Tunisia, with Egypt taking silver and the UAE bronze.

In the Under 18 age category, Oman were represented by Ahmed al Wahaibi, Ayman al Busaidy, and Al Munthir al Hinai. Both Ayman and Al Munthir had been part of the Oman team at the 2022 GCC Championships held earlier this year where they secured a team silver medal, and Ahmed has been very active participating in the high-profile Asia Pacific Championships at the end of 2021.

In the individual tournament the standard of golf was very high, a handful of players scoring in the 70’s in each of the three rounds, this included Ahmed al Wahaibi who saved his best round for last, closing with a 75 to claim third individually and win the bronze medal.

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With the team format being the best two scores each day from the team of three, it was key for the players to combine well. Ahmed’s scores of 77, 78, and 75 counted each day and were supported by Al Munthir’s round 1 score and Ayman’s round 2 and 3 scores, the last of which was a 77, his best of the week. Their three rounds total was enough to finish in second place winning the team silver medal, again Tunisia claiming the gold and Egypt finishing in third.

Munthir al Barwani, Chairman of the Oman Golf Association said: “We are very proud of all of our players for their performance in this year’s Pan Arab Championships, especially those playing in their first national team event. We must thank our hosts the Tunisian Golf Federation and the Arab Golf Federation for organising a great tournament. Junior development is one of our key areas of focus and it is rewarding to see that players who have come through this process are now representing their country and performing at a high level.”

“On behalf of the players, I extend my thanks to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Youth and to our partners and sponsors, Oman LNG, Sohar Aluminium, Shell, and Moore Stephens for their support. Lastly, I would like to congratulate Ahmed al Wahaibi for his individual bronze medal and the Under 18 team of Ahmed al Wahaibi, Ayman al Busaidy, and Al Munthir al Hinai for their well-deserved silver medal.”

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