EVENT: Abu Dhabi Invitational 2017
There are few better things than an early morning tee-off time, especially if it is at the picturesque Yas Links Golf Club on a work day. As returning media partners of the Abu Dhabi Invitational, Esquire Middle East brought its roving office to the pristine greens of the Yas Links course to keep track of one of the year’s most enjoyable events.
With a newly revamped Ryder Cup Matchplay format, the region’s leading Pro-Am event saw a team of 19 professional golfers facing-off against 19 celebrities, captained by Paul McGinley and Peter Schmeichel, respectively.
Despite the mercurial talents of footballers Ruud Gullit, Dwight Yorke and Roberto Di Matteo; cricket legends James Anderson, Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis; rugby union World Cup winners Mike Tindall and David Campese; and pop sensation Ronan Keating – Schmeichel’s Celebrity All-Stars team were defeated 13-6.
Captained by Ryder Cup legend 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 – all of who were all playing with a +5 handicap.