• Four elevated events to World Amateur Golf Ranking points
  • Winner of each event will secure spot in Challenge Tour event in the UAE
  • Ladies season kicks off next weekend in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) has significantly strengthened its 2022-23 Order of Merit after announcing four elevated ‘Majors’ which will offer World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points, with the winner of each tournament securing their spot in a Challenge Tour event in Abu Dhabi.

Those four tournaments will be the Ras Al Khaimah Amateur Championship (20-22 January) at Al Hamra Golf Club, The Track, Meydan Men’s Open (3- 5 February), Abu Dhabi Golf Club Men’s Open (17-19 March) and Jumeirah Golf Estates Men’s Open (31 March – 2 April).

Each event will feature a minimum of 54 holes to qualify for WAGR status while all players will receive double points towards the season-long EGF Order of Merit.

The announcement that the champion of each tournament will receive an invitation to one of the new Challenge Tour events in the UAE builds on the collaboration between the DP World Tour and EGF.

The two organizations announced a long-term partnership earlier in the year which focuses on enhancing golf in the UAE across all levels of the sport, from grassroots initiatives right through to the professional game, building on the Tour’s long-term association with the region which dates back to 1989.

General Abdulla Alhashmi

“A goal of the Emirates Golf Federation is to provide a platform for all golfers to reach the next level,” said General Abdullah Al Hashmi, Vice Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation.

“Through our partnerships with the Tours and the UAE golf clubs, we are establishing credible amateur events and a stronger Order of Merit across the entire UAE.  These events will provide a pathway for amateur golf in the Emirates. This will not only have an impact on national golf but will also continue to develop the ladies and juniors in the UAE.”

The men’s season gets underway this weekend with the Al Zorah Men’s Open kicking off a jam-packed schedule of 17 events as amateurs try to follow in the footsteps of last year’s Order of Merit champion Toby Bishop.

The youngster, who recently moved to the US after securing a scholarship to the University of Florida, went on a fine run of form to claim top spot, which included winning five events from six towards the end of the season.

The top 15 on the Order of Merit following the conclusion of that final event in Ras Al Khaimah will qualify for the UAE Men’s Amateur Open, with a venue and date to be confirmed in due course.

The women’s season kicks off a week later with the Abu Dhabi Golf Club Ladies Open the first of 11 events on the Order of Merit, while the junior season gets underway this weekend with the Emirates Golf Club Junior Open on the Faldo Course.

Jamie Roslyn Camero, nicknamed the ‘Pocket Rocket’ for her almighty distance off the tee, secured last year Ladies Gross Order of Merit title and will be one to look out for again as she goes head-to-head with close friend and Ladies Net Order of Merit champion Liang Wei Liu.

As well as playing for vital points to secure the Order of Merit Trophy, players will also be hoping to play their way into the amateur Dubai Golf Trophy team as they try to wrestle back the trophy from the pros.

The annual tournament, which will celebrate its 24th edition next season, pits the UAE’s top 16 professional players against the top 16 amateurs in the region, with 12 of those qualifying through the EGF Order of Merit.

By: Worldwide Golf – Thomas Wragg