Morocco’s Maha Haddioui will be looking to pick up some valuable tips and strategies on her short game when she teams up with seasoned professional Laura Davies in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters Challenge Match on Monday (Dec 8).
The traditional curtain-raiser to the tournament week, the match will see six marquee players, split into three teams, put on an exhibition on wedge play at the par-3 course of Emirates Golf Club, starting at 6pm.
Anna Nordqvist will join Sophie Gustafson in an all-Swedish team with Shanshan Feng (China) and Pornanong Phatlum (Thailand) completing the line-up of the match which will be played in a greensomes format where both players on a team tee off, the best of the two tee balls is selected and that ball is then played alternate shot until holed.
Though billed as a fun-filled affair, the match will provide a rare opportunity for the Arab world’s rising prospect Haddioui to interact with experienced players in a relaxed atmosphere and pick up some helpful hints from some of the best players in the world.
The first Arab woman to earn full playing status on the Ladies European Tour, the 26-year-old from Agadir is excited to be playing play alongside top players. “It will be fun and a great warm up for the main competition. I just can’t wait to get started,” she said.
“All these players are legendary when it comes to our game and, hopefully, I will be able to learn something from their play,” she added.
The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters Challenge Match is primarily aimed at providing fans with an opportunity to see the game’s biggest stars up close and personal. They will have an easy access to the course and will be allowed to carry cameras to the course. Entry is free and all are welcome.
Meanwhile, golf in DUBAi, the promoters and organizers of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, have made elaborate arrangements to ensure spectators enjoy the proceedings on all four days of the main tournament, starting on Wednesday, December 1
A giant TV screen has been installed in the ‘Tournament Village’ for them to keep up with the live action. Different food and beverage outlets, fun games for children and free golf clinics will further add to the carnival-like atmosphere at the village. Various distributors of golf equipment and apparel will also display their wares at the exhibition halls, located near the village.
“We would like to encourage more and more golf fans to come to Emirates Golf Club and support our top professional lady golfers who will be displaying their classic swings,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and CEO of ‘golf in DUBAi.
“Once again we have a great field for the event with top-draws from the Ladies European Tour joining LPGA superstars like Shanshan and Pornanong in the field. With so many big names in the mix, fans can expect first class entertainment.”
The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters is backed by OMEGA as the title sponsor and Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC as sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World & Maritime World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels, Mercedes and wasl, while Dubai Duty Free, Neocasa Interiors and Motivate Publishing are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.
Omega Dubai Ladies Masters Challenge Match pairings:
Laura Davies (England) and Maha Haddioui (Morocco)
Anna Nordqvist (Sweden) and Sophie Gustafson (Sweden)
Shanshan Feng (China) and Pornanong Phatlum (Thailand)