Links Abu Dhabi – best golf course in the Middle East

Yas Links Golf Course in Abu Dhabi
Yas Links Golf Course in Abu Dhabi

Links Abu Dhabi, the new Kyle Phillips designed golf course is the “best course in the Middle East” according to the latest issue of Golf Course Architecture magazine.

The world-class development on Yas Island, home to the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit, venue of the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the spectacular Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor theme park, has received widespread critical acclaim.

It is the first Middle East design for leading course architect Kyle Phillips, creator of World Top 100 Course Kingsbarns, Scotland, as well as the highly rated Verdura Golf & Spa Resort (Sicily), Dundonald (Scotland), and The Grove (London), who has created an extraordinary links overlooking the Arabian Gulf that rides rolling sand hills along three kilometers of coastline, and features nine seashore greens.

This championship course is located on the west shores of Yas Island and includes a 5750 m2 (57000 ft2) luxurious clubhouse and world-class, floodlit practice ranges and academy of golf.

In a unique twist, Phillips was able to design not only the golf course, but the coastline along which the course runs. That’s because the channel along the western edge of Yas Island had to be dredged to produce the 1.8 million m3 (cubic metres) of fill used to construct the golf course. The result is a coastline that lends itself perfectly to exciting golf holes, and one that is also benefiting from an approved environmental programme that has introduced 130,000 mangrove plants.

Yas Links General Manager, Chris White, said: “Kyle has created a breathtaking golf experience at Yas Links and one that is unique in the Middle East. It is a rolling, heaving golf course, weaving through sand hills and wending its way along the shoreline with views of the Arabian Gulf on all 18 holes.

The course opened in March 2010 as a semi private golf club offering both golf and social membership as well welcoming guest play; and in January 2011 some of the world’s top golfers will experience Yas Links for themselves in 2011 when the world’s most prestigious one-day Pro-Am tournament moves to Abu Dhabi.

The Invitational on January 17, 2011, hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah, will see some of the world’s best players join forces with 50 invited amateurs for a day of great competitive golf. World No.1 Lee Westwood, reigning US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia and Ross Fisher plus more to confirm.

For more information visit www.yaslinks.com.

Team Europe win the Ryder Cup in the final Singles Match

Graeme McDowell has finished a great personal year by winning the Ryder Cup for Team Europe in what turned out to be a very close match.  Europe won by 14½ points to 13½ in the last of today’s singles matches, beating Hunter Mahan 3&1.

Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter were mobbed as Hunter Mahan conceded the 17th hole, giving Graeme McDowell the victory needed to bring the Ryder Cup back to Europe. All the Team Europe players gathered around Captain Colin Montgomerie as champagne and tears began to flow.

Colin Montgomerie told Sky Sports “It’s a proud, proud moment for me.”

Europe needed five points from today’s Singles and got the points they needed with wins from Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiminez & Graeme McDowell; and Rory McIlroy and Edorado Molinari.

Team Europe won four Singles matches today:

Luke Donald beat Jim Furyk (1up)
Ian Poulter beat Matt Kuchar (5&4)
Miguel Angel Jiminez beat Bubba Watson (4&3)
Graeme McDowell beat Hunter Mahan (3&1)

The United States also won six Singles matches today:

Dustin Johnson beat Martin Kaymer
Jeff Overton beat Ross Fisher (4&3)
Tiger Woods beat Francesco Molinari (4&3)
Phil Mickelson beat Peter Hanson (4&2)
Zach Johnson beat Padraig Harrington (3&2)
Steve Stricker beat Lee Westwood (2&1)

Rory McIlroy v Stewart Cink – halved
Edorado Molinari v Rickie Fowler – halved

Aphrodite Hills Plays Host to the 2010 EuroPro PGA Tour Finale

Ahead of tomorrow’s Ryder Cup, today saw the start of the final tournament on this years’ EuroPro PGA Tour Final Championship. The top 60 players were invited to play the first ever PGA tournament to take place in Cyprus.

The EuroPro PGA Tour has been a stepping stone for many rising stars that have pushed on to become top European players. Graeme Storm, Richard Finch, Marc Warren and James Morrison have all gone on to win main PGA Tour events.

This year when Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open Championship by seven shots at St. Andrews he became the first Major winner to appear on the EuroPro Tour; and Ross Fisher will become the first EuroPro PGA Tour player to play in the Ryder Cup this weekend at Celtic Manor.

Heading the EuroPro Final Championship Order of Merit is Daniel Gaunt.  Along with Craig Lee, Gaunt is already guaranteed his Challenge Tour 2011 card; and with Matthew Evans and James Hepworth already winning over £23,000 they also look likely to be promoted to the Challenge Tour next year. That leaves three places still to be decided over this weekend. With a first place prize of £16,670, the following players will be hoping for a victory this weekend that would also see them playing the Challenge Tour in 2011. Nick McCarthy (4th) and Ian Keenan (6th) are closely followed by James Busby (7th), Paul Maddy (8th), Gary Wolstenholme (9th) and Zane Scotland (10th).

13 qualifying rounds have taken place in the UK’s most prestigious golf clubs leading up to the 2010 EuroPro finale at Aphrodite Hills, the first ever leisure and golf development of its kind in Cyprus.  So it is fitting that the first ever professional golf event in Cyprus will be held at the award winning Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort.

At a Gala Dinner yesterday evening, following a Pro Am Tournament, Barry Hearn and PGA officials praised the Aphrodite Hills team for their excellent hospitality and the exceptional quality of the course, which is in absolute pristine condition.

Woods & Watney share Shanghai lead at half way stage

200px-tiger_woods_drives_by_allisonTiger Woods carded a consecutive five under par 67 to take a share of the lead with Nick Watney in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, at the half way stage.

Watney who had led the first days play, struggled a little on the second day hitting a two under 70 to keep a share of the lead with Woods, both now 10 under overall.

The chasing pack sit just one shot behind the leaders and include world number two Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore and Alvaro Quiros, with Anthony Kim occupying third place on 8 under overall.

German Race to Dubai contender Martin Kaymer fell away with a two-over 74 to drop six shots back, while European money list leader Lee Westwood is tied for 23rd place at three under after two solid but unspectacular rounds.

Englishmen Ross Fisher and Paul Casey join Martin Kaymer on four under and six shots off the lead.

Although Watney could not match his first round score, both he and Woods produced four birdies on the back nine. Woods was frustrated earlier in the day with his putting, but ended in fine form, he said after day two;

“I got off to a good start and birdied the very first hole, but after that, I didn’t really make any putts. I certainly had some looks at them and didn’t really capitalise on anything and made a putt at nine and from then on I hit a lot of good putts and played the last 10 holes in five under.

It was a little bit frustrating not holing the putts, but the guys weren’t really running off and hiding and I knew that if I could play the back nine in three under that would be a pretty good number and I was able to do a couple better than that.”

Genworth Financial ‘Putts For Charity’ Pro Challenge.

Here is some exclusive footage of some of the biggest names on the European Tour – including Ross Fisher, Robert Karlsson, Lee Westwood, Miguel-Angel Jimenez, Jose-Felipe Lima and Graeme McDowell – from the end of play on Day One of the Portugal Masters.

The golfers will be leaving their rivalries behind on the course to come together for the Genworth Financial ‘Putts For Charity’ Pro Challenge.

The cream of Europe’s golfers will raise money for charity by picking a ball with monetary figure on it and then attempting to putt the ball. If they succeed they donate the figure to charity.

The golfers also share their views on their current form and achievements over this year and the final stages of the European Tour. Also general chat about next years Ryder Cup, the Road To Dubai and their thoughts on golf being accepted into the Olympics for 2016.