Oman Open Golf: Azaan hopes for a better show
For the second year in running, top Omani amateur, Azaan al Rumhy, will be rubbing shoulders with some of the leading pros of the world when the Oman Open-European Tour event is held at the Al Mouj Golf from February 28-March 3.
Azaan has received an invitation from the Oman Golf Committee, the local promoter of the tournament, to participate in the event.
Azaan, who is a popular and regular face on the domestic and regional circuit, was upbeat and looking forward to the event.
In his exclusive remarks to Muscat Daily after a practice round at the Al Mouj Golf, Azaan said, “Last year, it was more to have an experience of playing at an European Tour event. There was a lot of excitement as it was my debut last year. I am still very excited and I am hoping for a much better round this year.
“I had scores in 80s in both the rounds and my aim this year will be to get rounds in 70s.”
The Omani golfer has been battling an elbow injury over the past few months and hoped that he would be fit for the tournament.
Azaan said, “It has been troubling me but I am getting better and my performance at the recently-concluded OHI Oman Amateur Open, where I finished as the best Omani and lost in the quarterfinals, is a good indicator.”
The 35 year old, who has been among the top domestic golfers since 2002, said, “It will be another great experience for me at the Oman Open.
Before my debut in the European Tour last year, I had played on the Asian, MENA and the European Challenge Tours. But this event is at a different level.”
Azaan said, “Of course, my aim is to achieve the challenging task of making the cut. This year, I am more confident and will give my best shot.”
Besides Azaan, the other amateur already confirmed out of the five available slots is Max Burrow, who qualified after winning the OHA Oman Amateur Open recently.
Star-studded lineup for Oman Open
A star-studded lineup comprising a major winner, Ryder Cup players and European Tour winners, will be seen in action at the second edition of the Oman Open at the Al Mouj Golf from February 28.
With less than two weeks to tee-off, the European Tour confirmed the pro entries.
Two-time Ryder Cup star and 1999 Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie, will make his season debut in Oman after sitting out most of last year with a foot injury. He joins six-time European Tour winner and holder Joost Luiten of the Netherlands and last year's runner-up Chris Wood.
European Tour stalwarts Robert Karlsson, Thongchai Jaidee, David Howell and 2018 winning Ryder Cup captain Thomas Björn, who have 39 wins between them on Tour will be going head-to-head with the next generation of superstars, which include 2018 Rookie of the Year Shubhankar Sharma of India, Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, French duo Alex Levy and Roman Wattell, English pair Tom Lewis and Jordan Smith and South African Brandon Stone, all of whom have at least one win under their belt on Tour.
Other notable names competing include two-time Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion Stephen Gallacher, former Ryder Cup players Edoardo Molinari and Victor Dubuisson as well as history-making Oliver Fisher, who became the first man to shoot 59 in a European Tour event last season at the Portugal Masters.