Muscat: As the Sultanate hosts a plethora of European Tour stars for the second staging of the Oman open this week, Oman’s very own Azaan Al Rumhy is hoping to inspire the next generation of golfers when play gets underway at the stunning Al Mouj Golf on Thursday February 28.
The 35 year old, who will be making his second appearance at the tournament, is eager to put on a show for the home crowd in Muscat and help continue the rapid growth of the game since last year’s inaugural event.
“Since Al Mouj Golf hosted the Oman Open we have definitely seen a spike in golf participation amongst the younger generation,” said Oman’s No.1 amateur, who will have National Team golfer Mohammed Busaidy on the bag for the first round before making it a family affair in round two with his father Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, the Minister of Oil and Gas, taking over.
“The Omani Junior Team came to watch me last year and they loved seeing me rub shoulders with some of the greatest golfers on the planet. It was nice to have their support along with plenty more Omanis so I’m hoping they will continue that this week and I can help inspire them to one day be where I’m standing.
“It means a lot to be representing Oman in such a significant sporting event in our country and people have really got behind me and the event so hopefully I can put a smile on their faces with a good performance this week.”
As well as the support from local residents and the Oman Junior Team, Al Rumhy, was quick to thank tournament promoters, the Oman Golf Committee, for the role they have played in his career and Oman’s golfing journey since forming in 2010.
“A special thanks goes out to the Oman Golf Committee for their continued support and extending an invitation my way for the second year running,” he said. “I have been representing Oman since 2002 and the committee has only been around for the last eight years but the difference they have made to promote the game to future generations in the country has been outstanding.
“The attention they give to the national team is excellent and they are bringing more young golfers through than ever before which is great to see. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes by the Chairman Mundhir al Barwani and Director Lee O’Donoghue who have appointed the right people to grow the game including hiring a National Team Coach in the form of Steven Troup who has helped a lot with my game over the last three years.”
“In the future we want to have a much stronger field of Omani Golfers who can challenge in professional events across the world. Hopefully we can sustain this European Tour event and keep building on it so the next generation of golfers can be inspired to play in front of their home crowd one day.”
Mundhir al Barwani, Chairman of the Oman Golf Committee, said:
“We didn’t need to think twice about sending Azaan another invitation for this year’s tournament; he is a very good golfer who inspires everyone around him. In showcasing Azaan’s ability on a global stage we hope to open the door for many more Omani golfers and show them that hard work and dedication pays off. We wish him all the best once again and I’m sure the whole of the Sultanate will be cheering him on this week.”
The Oman Open gets underway at Al Mouj Golf, Muscat on Thursday February 28 and will feature a world-class field including 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, Ryder Cup stars Robert Karlsson, Thomas Bjørn, Chris Wood and Stephen Gallacher along with defending champion Joost Luiten.