The 58th Bahrain Open Golf Championship, which starts today at the Awali Golf Club, will take place alongside the 34th Bahrain Ladies Open Golf Championship for the first time ever.
In the past, the two-day men’s tournament has been played on separate dates from the Ladies Open, which is also a two-day competition.
“This is the very first time that the men’s and women’s championships are being held on the same dates,” Awali Golf Club golf captain Steve Newall told the GDN in an exclusive interview.
“We will have a field of more than 100 golfers – men and women – competing for their respective trophies. This tournament provides equal opportunities for both pros and amateurs to stake a claim to the winner’s cup with prizes being divided into two levels: one for pros and the other for amateurs.”
Amateurs and pros have flown in from various parts of the world to take part in the men’s competition, Newall added.
“Mahdi Toudaoui, a pro, has come over from Morocco,” he said. “And teaching pro, Matthew Chalmers is over from Singapore. Plus, amateurs from Oman and Qatar are also going to be competing.”
Nasir Yaqoob, Jamie Elson, Gabriel Sota and Ahmed Mohammed Al Zayed are among the frontrunners in the men’s field, Newall continued.
“Last year’s champion, Sam Hobday, will not, unfortunately, be able to compete this year because of prior professional commitments,” he said. “But his mum, Sarah, who’s won the Ladies Open twice in the past six years, will be in the fray in the women’s competition.”
Hobday, along with last year’s runner-up Susan Scott and Alexandra Heluin, is tipped as one of the favourites to lift the women’s trophy, Newall added.
“All in all, it promises to be a fascinating two days of competition in both the men’s and women’s championships, with lots of good golf to look forward to,” he asserted.
“As the Awali Golf Club, which was founded in 1937 and boasts the oldest sand course in the region, celebrates the 86th year of its existence, it will be only fitting that its marquee tournament – organised wholly by the club – will deliver some of the finest golf we could hope to see on the island.”