Ahmad Skaik, Yuxin Lin, Keita Nakajima and Puwit Anupansuebsai players took time out of preparation for the tournament for some sightseeing around the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The 12th edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) gets underway on Wednesday at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, and UAE national team player Ahmad Skaik will have the honour of hitting the first tee shot at the tournament which runs from November 3-6.
Skaik, the current UAE No.1, will lead off in an impressive field that includes Keita Nakajima of Japan, the No.1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), and China’s Yuxin Lin, the two-time AAC champion who is aiming to surpass 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and become the first player to win the AAC title three times.
Created in 2009, the AAC was established to further develop amateur golf in the Asia-Pacific region, with the champion receiving an invitation to compete in the 2022 Masters Tournament and The Open, two of four Majors on the golfing calendar, while the runner(s)-up gain a place in Final Qualifying for The Open.
Skaik said: “It is a real honour to host the tournament as a country, and to be given the privilege to hit the opening ball of the entire tournament is even better. I’m just excited to get going and it is good to go out first. It means a lot as the AAC is a very big tournament.
“In terms of conditions, I think the ball will fly a bit faster in the morning. The Creek course can be a little windy in the afternoon but over the first two rounds we are going to get exposure to both morning and afternoon golf so it is not going to make such a difference. I’m playing pretty good, let’s see how it goes.”
Khalid Yousuf, Khalifa Al Masaood and Rashid Al Emadi will also be representing the UAE in the field alongside Skaik, and all will be aiming for a shot at glory, which would bring a dream spot at the Masters in Augusta, and at the 150th edition of The Open at St Andrews, two of the biggest dates in world golf.
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