(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman's leading golfer Azaan al Rumhy aims to finish among the top performers in the amateur category at the Dubai Creek Open tournament as the MENA Golf Tour rolls into the region after the summer break.
The US50000 prize money tournament to be played from September 14-17 is the third event on the eight-leg 2014 calendar and is expected to attract a strong field. With the first two events of the tour in Morocco producing first-time winners interest in the tournament has intensified in anticipation of possibly a new champion in Dubai.
Speaking to Muscat Daily on Monday Azaan said 'I have recovered completely from a knee operation and I have been training regularly under [Oman] national coach Marcus Casey. I am looking forward to the Dubai Creek Open as this will be my first event of the MENA Tour this year.'
He added 'I had to skip the previous two events in Morocco and I am keen to get off to a good start. I am confident of a strong finish following my summer training. I hope to finish among the top in the amateurs' rankings.' Azaan pointed out that his new-found confidence results from an improvement in his long-range drives. Azaan has placed high stakes on the Dubai Creek Open as he believes that if he can achieve a top-five finish he could confine himself to playing only the remaining legs of the MENA Tour. 'It will depend a lot on my results at the Dubai Creek Open' the Omani golfer said.
'If the results are to my expectations then I may skip other events in favour of the MENA Tour and compete in the remaining events with a goal to finish among the best amateurs in the region.' Azaan has already been handed an invitation entry for the NBO Golf Classic to be played on the Almouj Golf course at The Wave Muscat from October 2-November 2. He has also been selected in the national team along with Ali Hameed and Hamood al Harthy for the Asian Games in Incheon South Korea from September 17-October 4.
With the Oman Golf Committee (OGC) set to decide next week whether the natonal team will participate at the World Amateur Team Championships for the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan from September 10-13 Azaan has a packed schedule ahead. If the Japan trip takes place then he would have to fly to Dubai directly from there.
He would then also need to decide on whether to take part in the Asian Games or the MENA Tour's Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open with both events lined up for September. Azaan is also part of Oman's two-member team that will compete in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia from October 23-26. Hamood al Harthy is the other Omani picked for the event which will be conducted jointly by the Augusta National Golf Club the R&A and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation.
The championship will see a field of 120 of the highest ranked players descend on Melbourne to take part in the premier amateur competition with the champion receiving an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament in April 2015. Azaan said 'It is a busy schedule till the end of October and I am happy to play a series of top-class events that will help me gain experience.'
Earlier in March Azaan clinched the men's nett title at the 18th GCC Open Golf Championship 2014 at the Dirab Golf & Country Club in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. At the Dubai Creek Open Azaan is among 33 amateurs from 27 countries who have already signed up.
Besides Azaan Morocco's Ayoub Lguirati Zi Hao Su of China Stuart Cameron of England and India's Rayhan Thomas are some of the leading amateurs in the field who will be showcasing the tour's talent pool. An initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation the MENA Tour was created in 2011 with the aim of developing the sport in the region.
MENA Tour schedule: Sept 14-17: Dubai Creek Open; Sept 21-24: Sheikh Maktoum Dubai Open; Sept 28-Oct 1: Abu Dhabi Citizen Open; Oct 5-8: Ras al Khaimah Classic; Oct 19-22: Ghala Valley Golf Championship; Oct 26-29: American Express Dirab Golf Championship; Nov 1-4: MENA Golf Tour Championship.