Al Hamra & Tower Links Golf Club’s played hosts for the 5th staging of the National Day Open 2016 and what a weekend it turned out to be.
With the Mercury on Day 1 at AHGC topping 33 degrees despite it apparently being Winter, it was Manilyn Buxmann and Regin Magnus who struck early success as they walked away with the pin prizes on holes 4 and 11 respectively.
In the main event it was a three a horse race between David Guniee 76, Dewalde Lubbe 77, and Arjun Gupta 78 whom would battle it out at Tower Links for the Title on Day 2.
Day 2 rolled in and so did the fog, causing an 1 hour delay to the start time, but this did little to deter the field of dedicated golfers, many of whom braved the tricky conditions on the drive up from Dubai.
Once the fog lifted the sun was at its full force which seemed to be just the medicine that Ash Shukla needed as he claimed the pin prize on hole 4, with Eui Young Jeon striking on the 12th. The top 3 contenders were having a right ding dong battle until Dewalde Lubbe came up lame on the 5th, leaving Arjun and David to go head to head over the remaining 13 holes.
After the outward nine, David had opened up a healthy 5 stoke lead, thanks to nine straight Par’s, but as anyone that plays the Links regularly knows, this is the nine that can bring Giants to their knees.
The inward nine started poorly for David with a costly double bogey, lead back to 4 strokes as Arjun himself stumbled with a bogey 5. Another bogey from David on the tricky Par 5, 13th to the Par of Arjun’s bought the lead back to 4 strokes, which stayed that way up until the completion of the 16th hole, but the shortened 17th hole was where the cat was firmly amongst the pigeons.
A birdie three for Arjun enabled him to close the deficit to 3 strokes with hole 18 and the temptation of striking at the green in 2 firmly entrenched into the minds of the pair. Unfortunately there can be only one winner and on this day it proved to be Davis despite an outstanding effort from Arjun.
David did in fact stumble down the final hole with a double bogey 7, but thanks in part to outscoring Arjun on Day 1 by 2 strokes; this late stammer did not affect his position as he was able to hold on for a 1 stroke victory.
Net prizes for the event were also hotly contested as scoring was tighter than cramp, with Tracey Scott posting a score of 143 for victory, closely followed by James Littlewood on 145, with Ahmad Mustapha claiming third place after two days of battle.