A field of 106 golfers will be competing in this weekend’s 55th Bahrain Open, taking place at Awali Golf Club.
The 36-hole stroke-play tournament is one of the leading annual competitions in the Kingdom. It was the first of its kind in the Gulf – a singles event that is open to both professional and amateur players meeting the handicap requirements.
It is the premier event of the Awali Golf Club season with the competing golfers coming from all over the world, representing various golf clubs.
Last year’s champion Saleh Al Kaabi will be returning to defend his crown. Al Kaabi secured the 2017 title with a four-under-par gross total of 136 at the end of the two days of action held along Awali’s 6,309-yard sand course.
A number of other former champions will also be competing, many of whom are the cream of the crop of Bahrain golf and some of whom are members of Bahrain’s national team. Several professional players are also set take part in the event.
The weekend’s programme begins tomorrow with an open practice day for participants between 7am and 8pm. Registration will also be done at 3pm, after which the draw for the first day’s Order of Play will be done at 7.30pm.
On Friday, action commences with round one at 7am, when the first group of players will be teeing off. Round two on Saturday will also begin from 7am. The prize giving ceremony is then scheduled to take place at around 5.30pm, to be followed by the closing celebrations from 6om onwards at the club house.
The champion will receive the Bahrain Open Trophy (to be retained by Awali Golf Club) and a replica of the Trophy to keep.
Prizes will be awarded to the top players with the lowest gross scores over 36 holes.
There will also be several other prizes, such as Nett prizes which will be awarded for the lowest Nett score over 36 holes, the lowest Nett score on day one, and the lowest Nett score on day two.
The first Bahrain Open was held in 1964. It followed the discontinued MEOGA (Middle East Oil Companies Golf Association) team trophy, which Awali had won a few years earlier at their first and only attempt.
The 1964 Open featured about 60 competitors who played for the right to claim one of three gross and two Nett prizes.
Last year, it was a dramatic finish to the Bahrain Open, as Al Kaabi triumphed by just a single stroke ahead of runner-up Saqer Al Noaimi and joint-overnight leader Nasser Yacoob.