January 09.2017

WIN

Paul McGinley’s team of international professional golfers won the 2017 Abu Dhabi Invitational yesterday in wonderful fashion at the world famous Yas Links Golf Club.

The event, played in a Ryder Cup Matchplay format, saw McGinley’s side beat Peter Schmeichel’s Celebrity All-Stars 13-6. The tournament saw 19 professionals and 19 celebrities each paired with a VIP guest. All competitors played from the back tees with the professionals playing off a +5 handicap.

Among the stars lining up in the field for the tournament were football legends Peter Schmeichel, Ruud Gullit, Dwight Yorke and Roberto Di Matteo, cricket heroes James Anderson, Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis and rugby union World Cup winners Mike Tindall and David Campese. Pop sensation Ronan Keating also starred.
 
That A-list group took on some of the biggest names in European golf. Captained by Ryder Cup legend Paul McGinley, the professional team included Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters and Matt Fitzpatrick as well as Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the first Emirati golfer to turn professional, and Ladies European Tour stars Amy Boulden and Kelsey MacDonald.

McGinley said: “It has been a great pleasure playing alongside so many talented men and women today, on such a wonderful course. I would like to thank Abu Dhabi for welcoming us so warmly. I look forward to returning next year for another great tournament.”

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council: “Both on and off the course the new format Abu Dhabi Invitational has been a resounding success. We were honoured to have such an incredible group of celebrities and sporting stars competing against a great line-up of professional golfers. A special thank you to all our VIP guests, who have flown in from all around the world for this unforgettable Abu Dhabi experience, and to our amazing tournament host Yas Links.”

Howie Roberts, General Manager of Yas Links said: “It was an absolute pleasure to host the Abu Dhabi Invitational for another year and witness the great feedback we have had from some of the world’s greatest names in sports about the course and the incredible golfing experience at Yas Links.”

It was an action-packed weekend at Yas Links. The Saturday saw the Amateur Championship where the celebrities got to grips with the course in a fun-filled day, followed by a gala dinner at the wonderful Shangri-La Hotel, Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council was also using the occasion to launch Sport in Abu Dhabi, an initiative to showcase and promote the Emirate’s central role in the world’s sporting landscape. Abu Dhabi already has a strong reputation as a centre of excellence for world-class sports events, winter training and sports tourism and the weekend’s event at Yas Links further highlighted that.

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