(Dubai, UAE) – The top amateur golfers in the United Arab Emirates are ready to test their mettle on the worldwide stage as the Nomura Cup comes to the Middle East for the first time in its 52-year history from October 22- 25.

UAE Team (L-R - Khalid Yousuf, Ahmed Skaik, Coach Greg Holmes and Rashid Hamood)

UAE Team (L-R – Khalid Yousuf, Ahmed Skaik, Coach Greg Holmes and Rashid Hamood)

 The prestigious tournament, taking place at Yas Links, Abu Dhabi, provides the opportunity for the UAE team to compete against 26 other amateur teams from countries like: Australia, China, India and Japan which is a fresh and exciting challenge compared to playing close rivals in the Middle East region.

The UAE are taking the Nomura Cup extremely seriously. Coach Greg Holmes decided to travel to Terre Blanch in France with his team members: Khalid Yousuf, Rashid Hamood, Abdulla Al Qubaisi and youngster Ahmed Skaik to visit the European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI), in preparation for the tournament.

The team benefitted from Jean-Jacques Rivet’s biomechanics guidance and advice and Holmes said: “The players were measured physically and any errors that they needed to work on they could do so. They’ve benefited a lot from the trip.”

The UAE team understand the competitiveness of the tournament but they have a point to prove on home turf this year. One member of the team is new to the tournament after successfully making the step-up from the UAE Junior Golf Team.

Ahmed Skaik hopes to make an impact for the senior side in an event where they haven’t experienced much success in previous years. “I hope we show up in this tournament and perform well, we’ve put a lot of preparation in and we’re really looking forward to it,” said the talented Emirati.

The youngster played an invaluable role when the UAE Junior side won the prestigious GCC Championship for the second year in succession at Almouj Golf, The Wave, Muscat, Oman in 2014.

He is now cherishing the opportunity to compete against countries from all over the Asia Pacific region in the Nomura Cup.

“We’re used to playing against the Arab nations,” said Skaik, “but it’s good to play against players from Australia, Japan, China and Korea. They have top players and it’s good to compete and learn from them.”

UAE fans should be buoyant with the form of the team. Khalid Yousuf, the focal point of the UAE side, has had a splendid season. He lifted the President’s Cup for the second time in three years at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club after overcoming Nomura Cup teammate Rashid Hamood. Yousuf has played in the Dubai Desert Classic twice, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Clariden Leu Singapore Masters in previous years to gain valuable experience in playing on the big stage.

The UAE go into the event with huge aspirations and confidence. It will be intriguing to see if their performance is as impressive as their preparation deserves.

 The 27 teams competing in the 2015 Nomura Cup:

Australia, Bahrain, China, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese Tapei, UAE, Indonesia and Iran.