Region Amateur Men’s Championship to Defy Covid Lockdowns in Dubai

10th hole at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Supplied)
10th hole at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Supplied)

After it was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 12th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) for men will this year go ahead at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club from the 3 to 6 November.

The 2021 championship will mark the first edition held in the UAE, one of the APGC’s 42 member countries, and will join the numerous professional and amateur events Dubai hosts annually, including the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic and DP World Tour Championship.

Created in 2009, the AAC was established to further develop amateur golf in the Asia-Pacific region. The champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament and The Open, while the runner(s)-up gain a place in Final Qualifying for The Open.

Taimur Hassan Amin, Chairman of the APGC, Fred Ridley, Chairman of the Masters Tournament, and Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said in a joint statement that the historic win at the Masters Tournament by Hideki Matsuyama, a two-time Asia-Pacific Amateur champion, underscored the importance of this event as a platform for the game’s development and rising talent in the region.

“We are grateful for the support of the Emirates Golf Federation and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, and we are committed to working closely with all involved to stage this year’s championship with responsible protocols in place so we can provide this life-changing opportunity safely to these deserving players,” The Statement said.

“Dubai Creek’s Championship Course will enhance the tradition of world-class venues that have hosted this championship, and we look forward to showcasing the Asia-Pacific’s top-ranked amateurs this fall.”

18th hole at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Supplied)
18th hole at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Supplied)

Opened in 1993, Dubai Creek’s Championship Course features an 18-hole, par-71 layout originally designed by Karl Litten before its redesign in 2004 led by Thomas Bjorn.

The course has previously hosted the 1999 and 2000 Dubai Desert Classic and the Mena Tour’s Dubai Creek Open, where 2018 AAC runner-up Rayhan Thomas shot a course-record 61 in 2017. Most recently, Dubai Creek hosted The Dubai Championship on the World Amateur Tour last December.

Over the AAC’s 12-year history, the championship has served as a springboard to some of the world’s top players today, including Matsuyama, a two-time AAC winner and 2021 Masters champion.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Supplied)
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (Supplied)

Fresh from making the half-way cut in The 149th Open at Royal St George’s, China’s Lin Yuxin, winner of the AAC in 2017 and 2019, will be aiming to become the first three-time winner of the championship.

“It’s a wonderful tournament that has given me the opportunity to play in both the Masters and The Open, for which I’m very grateful,” said the left-hander, 16th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship will be staged at Siam Country Club Waterside, Pattaya in Thailand from 7-10 October 2021.

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