Huge response for expanded OHI Oman Amateur Open
January 23, 2018 | 3:07 PM
by Times News Service
Adam Al Barwani: “I’m excited to be one of the young Omanis who is participating in this tournament.” Photo - Supplied

Muscat: Indicating to the growing popularity of the OHI Oman Amateur Open, the 2018 edition has attracted over 300 talented golfers from across the region.

While there has been a huge response to the tournament, thanks to the winner getting an opportunity to play in the NBO Oman Open - a European Tour event, the organisers have also decided to add a junior competition to this year’s programme of events.

The tournament is scheduled to take place at Ghala Golf Club from January 26 to 27.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the tournament organisers said: “The OHI Oman Amateur Open has received a record number of entries, with over 300 people registering for the event.

“The entries came from across the Middle East with many flying in for the event from Bahrain, UAE, and other GCC countries.

“With a field of 120 players making it through to the Open, the 2018 event will be its most competitive yet. No doubt the opportunity to play in a European Tour event has been a large pull for many of the entries.”

“Cementing itself as the leading amateur event in the country, the OHI Oman Amateur Open announced last year that the 2018 Champion Golfer will earn themselves a place in the 2018 NBO Oman Open in February, when the European Tour makes its Omani debut,” the statement added.

“A rare and unbelievable opportunity for the champion, who will experience playing alongside some of the world’s greatest golfers when they take to the field in February.”

New category

For the first time, this year’s event will include an Under-12 category, in addition to its normal Under-18 and Under-15 categories.

“A growing number of junior golfers in Oman and the increasing standards of junior golf across the Sultanate has led to the creation of the additional category,” the organisers informed.

“I’m excited to be one of the young Omanis who is participating in this tournament,” said Adam Al Barwani.

“I’ve been practicing a lot and last year I was competing in the Assarain Golf Oman Junior Series which gave me experience in competing and improved my game. I will give my best to become the first Omani Under 12 Champion.”

The three junior categories are dominated by Omani players, many of whom have hopes of national team glory.

“My goal is to represent my country at international events and make my parents proud,” Al Barwani added.

The Oman Ladies Open rounds out the total events taking place at Ghala over the weekend. Lynn Casey is favourite to defend her title for the third year in a row.

Meanwhile, Oman Golf Committee chief Mundhir Al Barwani said:

“To have so many categories and a record number of entries this year shows how much the event has grown in the region. I must thank OHI and all the efforts of Golf Oman.”

“I’m particularly proud of all the juniors who have developed so much over the last year and now we can’t wait to see who will be crowned the champion,” he added.

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