Golf: Oman's Fahad wants to take positives from prestigious R&A Junior Open

Sports Tuesday 12/July/2016 16:47 PM
By: Times News Service
Golf: Oman's Fahad wants to take positives from prestigious R&A Junior Open

Muscat: Fahad Al Kitani, Oman’s one of the most successful golfers, is all set to make the most of the prestigious R&A Junior Open that started on Monday and will continue till Wedensday in the picturesque venue of Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club in Barassie, Scotland.
Fahad is the lone representative from the Sultanate, bearing the flag of the country. He is accompanied by his father Harib Al Kitani.
Fahad is elated to take part in such a glorious and historical event that witnessed the participation of current top golfing stars like Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Carly Booth and Paula Creamer over the past.
A record 80 countries are represented this week with the field made up of 148 emerging boy and girl junior golfers. This is the biggest ever turnout in the history of the competition. The inaugural Junior Open took place in 1994 and to date seven players have gone on to compete in The Open Championship.
Some of the world’s best golfers have featured in the Junior Open over the years, including 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year Rory McIlroy, 2015 US Open and Masters Champion Jordan Spieth, seven-time European Ryder Cup player Sergio Garcia, 2010 US Women’s Open Champion Paula Creamer and 2012 Ladies Scottish Open winner Carly Booth.
“Yes, this is a great tournament. I am elated to represent my country in this prestigious competition. No doubt that it is a very tough competition because so many great talents are here to compete and win the glory,” says Fahad from Barassie, Scotland.
Fahad arrived at the venue on Saturday to attend the practice session on Sunday and to get accustomed with the conditions.
In the opening ceremony, 2015 Champion Golfer of the Year Zach Johnson and Darren Clarke, who won golf’s oldest Championship and lifted the Claret Jug in 2011, welcomed the junior golfers to the event.
Fahad informed, “The practice round went well. But the course is very challenging and weather conditions are very difficult. It’s very cold and windy and it’s continuously raining. I am not at all used to this kind of conditions. It is just the opposite of what we get in our country. So it’s very, very unusual for me. But despite these conditions, I will try my best and take it as a great experience gathering event for me.”
Fahad had emerged champion in the individual gross category in the GCC Junior tournament in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in March last year. He finished champion in the team event as well. The young gun continued his sparkling form with the team in the GCC Cup Kuwait in April finishing third in the team event.
In 2014, Fahad combined with two other Oman teammates to win the Under-15 GCC Cup in Muscat by beating Kuwait by a huge margin. Fahad himself went close to bagging the individual champion’s trophy, finishing just one point behind a Saudi Arabian competitor.
“I am happy with my performance in the GCC tournaments, but this is different ball game. Coming out from the heat and adjusting to these conditions,” said Fahad.
The young gun from Oman practiced hard in a practice venue in Oman despite fasting during Ramadan. He said, “I was practicing in the evening after school and exams were going on. It was tough to balance everything, but I had to do it, I was eager to participate here.”
Fahad’s father Harib Al Kitani says, “I want to take this opportunity to thank the Oman Golf Committee (OGC) for selecting my son to represent Oman and also want to thank the Ministry of Sports Affairs for all the support.”
Mundhir Al Barwani, the Chairman of OGC says, “It’s nice to see Fahad in this tough competition. We wish him all the very best and hope he gains positives from the tournament to make his game more sharp and matured.”
Fahad too aims to do his best at the competition. “I know hopes are bestowed upon me, I want to take this enriching experience to face more international level competitions and represent my country.”