Maha Haddioui believes the power of a positive mental attitude will drive her to a strong finish she tees it up at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club this week.
“The season has been pretty good, the best so far on the Ladies European Tour, ranking wise. Definitely relieved to be keeping my Tour. My game is feeling good and I am really happy to finish the year here in Dubai,” said the 28-year-old Moroccan, who is currently ranked 46th on the Order of Merit.
“I used to be quite demanding on myself, but that’s not the case any more. I have learned to accept things as they come,” said the Moroccan ace, adding: “I try and keep things simple and don’t get frustrated on the course,” said Haddioui, who will be making her fifth appearance at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
“It’s one of my favourite tournaments and it feels like home, and it’s a little bit like home, as well. I love the (Majlis) course. Dubai is great place to visit and play golf, said the Casablanca native who targets a top-10 finish this week.
“I have my objective in the back of my head. I just need to play golf and try and make good shots. If it works out, great. If it doesn’t, I have tried by my best, given every shot 100 per cent,” said Haddioui, who earlier this year became the first Arab golfer to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.
“It was absolutely amazing to represent Morocco and being part of the African contingent at the Olympic Games. But it was really tough for me as I didn’t play good golf.
“I think I set up an objective that was too high and I kind of just stuck to it the whole time, but I learned so much from it. It’s hard enough to play golf when you are trying to make a living and trying to keep your Tour card.
“And then playing to represent country having like not only golfers in Morocco watch you, but every Moroccan watch you, it something bigger. The whole experience is going to help me. But for now, I don’t have enough distance from it to actually realise it,” said the US-educated professional, who is supported by Trophée Hassan II Association (ATH).
Keeping a quiet mind is her mantra for what she called an important week for her. “As soon as I am set up on the ball, nothing else matters. Once I have made my decision, I just go for it. That’s it, I don’t think about anything,” said Haddioui, who posted a career best finish of tied 14th on nine-under at the inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in November.
Haddioui spent four years at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, to fine tune her talents before turning professional in 2011. She was a four-time All American scholar and NCGA First-team All American, graduating with a Masters in Accounting and International Business.
“The time (four years) spent in Florida, has really helped hone my skills and talents,” she said, adding: “My dream has always been to play on a tour. I’m really happy I turned pro and everybody has been very helpful as well.”
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, JA Resorts & Hotels, Mercedes-Benz 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.