Dubai, UAE – This past weekend played host to the Dubai Creek Men’s Club Championship. The 2 round, 36 hole strokeplay event is the most highly anticipated members event of the year and always produces some great performances. This year was no exception, with well over 60 players competing for top honours. Event sponsors, J. Lindberg, provided their support again this year and offered some great prizes for the winners which added even more value to this prestigious championship.
Round 1: The players set out in the 1:00 pm shotgun on Friday afternoon, and with the wind picking up the course would prove to be a tougher test that usual. Despite these tough conditions, Shezad Lakdawala fired a superb score of 70 (-1) to take 3 shot lead in the Championship over Michael McGinley. Shezad was also leading the Championship Vase (Net) category by one shot over Ishwar Jodha, after a fine net score of 65. With so many players separated by just a few shots, this year’s event promised another dramatic finish.
Round 2: The final group of Shezad Lakdawala, Michael McGinley and Imran Qayyum set out on to the Championship course here at Dubai Creek at 12:50pm. Would Shezad be able to hold off the challengers and claim his first Dubai Creek Men’s Club Championship title? Michael made the first move out of the final group, with a superb birdie on the 1st hole. After the 2nd hole the three shot lead of Shezad had been lost with both himself and Michael now at +2. The front 9 went on in a similar fashion with Michael leading on +3 at the 27 hole mark and Shezad +4. In spite of his solid start, a front 9 of 40 (+5) meant that Imran was now at a total of +9. However, with last year’s champion Rayhan Thomas and the four time champion Miki Mirza only a couple of shots back, this was by no means a two horse race!
After the turn, three birdies in 5 holes saw Miki jump to the top of the leader board to join McGinley at +3, however a birdie on 13 saw Michael retain a one shot lead with 5 to play. A bogey on 15 for Michael meant that it was tied at the top between himself and Miki, however a 2 shot swing from a birdie and a bogey on 17 meant Michael had a 2 shot lead playing the last. Missing the fairway with his tee shot caused Michael to layup, however a par on the last from Miki in the group ahead meant Michael retained his two shot lead as he fired his 100 yard wedge shot into the heart of the green on 18. Following his wedge shot, Michael comfortably 2 putted ensuring a two round total of +3 for a 1 shot victory over Miki and be crowned the 2016 J.LINDEBERG Dubai Creek Men’s Club Champion. After being presented his trophy, Michael commented “I am a proud member of this club and so it is a great feeling to finally get my name on this trophy! It is one I’ve been trying to win for a while! I would like to thank my playing partners over the two days and also J. Lindberg for their support again this year!” A total of 146 saw Miki finish runner-up for the 3nd year running, whilst last year’s champion Rayhan Thomas took 3rd after rounds of 76 and 71 for a total of 147.
Meanwhile in the Championship Vase, a final total of -5 saw Ishwar Jodha storm to a comfortable 4 shot victory after two impressive net scores of 66 & 71 for a 2 round total of 137. 2nd in the Championship Vase was the round one tournament leader Shezad Lakdawala with a 2 round total of 141 (-1). The Championship Day 1 and 2 prizes were awarded to Imran Qayyum and Dhruv Nair after equally impressive rounds of 75 (+4), whilst in the Championship Vase it was Yves Aboukhaled and Alok Pant who managed superb net scores of 68 and 71 respectfully, to walk away with the day prizes.
After conducting the prize giving Dubai Creek’s Director of Golf Operations Stephen Hubner commented; “Firstly I would like to congratulate Michael McGinley on his victory, it is great Michael has finally got his hands on this trophy. As always a thank you to you all for your support and participation, and last but not least a huge thank you to Mrs. Brigitta Dagostin and her team at J. Lindberg for their support and the fantastic prizes that add such value to this already special event”.