Monday, December 5, 2011

Dubai World Championship preview

UPDATE:  According to Ernie Els' diary on his website – here – he will be playing at the Dubai World Championship.  This is GREAT news, especially after his diary last week stated that his season was over for the year, and his schedule of events did not include the Dubai World Championship.  It will be good to see Ernie playing in his third Dubai World Championship – that makes eight South Africans in the field this week.

The Dubai World Championship is upon us.  The Top 60 golfers in the Race to Dubai have been decided and those who are playing in the Dubai World Championship have now arrived in Dubai (I understand that despite qualifying for the year-end event, Ernie Els and Justin Rose have decided not to play in the event (?!)).  I attended both previous Dubai World Championships and am looking forward to this one for a particular reason.  I have volunteered to be a TV scorer for all four days of the tournament.  This will be the first time that I have volunteered at a golf tournament, despite having attended many tournaments in the past.  From the time that I attended the Million Dollar Golf Tournament at Sun City when I was around 12, to when I attended the US Masters earlier this year, my visits to watch world class golf have been many.  For the Dubai World Championship to be played in my home ‘town’ makes it just that little bit more special, and I look forward to what promises to be an excellent week of golf.

I was fortunate to play the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates just a few weeks ago with the Jiggers Dubai Golf Society, of which I am a member.  The course is in fine condition, with the rough having been left to grow just that little bit longer in anticipation of the best golfers on the European Tour.  I am pleased to see that of the 60 players who qualified to play in the Dubai World Championship, eight of them are South African,  In order on the Race to Dubai, following the Hong Kong Open, they are Charl Schwartzel (4th), Louis Oosthuizen (14th), Thomas Aiken (20th), George Coetzee (27th), Retief Goosen (35th), Jaco Van Zyl (51st) Ernie Els (52nd – though he has elected not to play (?!)), and Hennie Otto (58th).

I look forward to what the week holds, specifically for my role as TV scorer.  I look forward to seeing what goes on behind the scenes, as well as being able to walk the fairways with some of the world's greatest golfers.  It is unlikely to improve my reasonably poor golf skill, but being a TV scorer should be a life highlight.

I will update, if known before arriving at the course, my ARNESTAD on Golf Twitter account with details of the group for which I am scoring.  At the end of the Dubai World Championship I will post a summary of the event.  Enjoy the week, and say nice things about Dubai!!

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