Emirati Ahmad Skaik out to mix it with European Tour 'big guns' at Aviv Dubai Championship

Amateur, appearing in fourth event on the circuit, hits first tee shot on Fire course on Thursday

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 17: Ahmed Skaik of the United Arab Emirates plays his fourth shot on the second hole during the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 17, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Amateur Ahmad Skaik says he is “honoured” to get the Aviv Dubai Championship under way on Thursday after the Emirati was given a sponsor’s invite to compete in the European Tour event.

The UAE No 1, who last week became only the second Emirati to make the cut at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), will tee it up at the tournament for the second successive year.

The Aviv Dubai Championship takes place on the Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday to Sunday, and features Race to Dubai winners Tommy Fleetwood and Martin Kaymer alongside reigning Dubai Desert Classic champion Paul Casey.

Skaik, 24, played the event last year, where he also hit the opening tee shot to mark the UAE’s 49th National Day. Making his fourth appearance on the European Tour, he arrives at the tournament on the back of last week’s AAC in Dubai, where he finished 42nd to record the second-best result in history by an Emirati golfer.

“I’m honoured to be invited back to compete on the European Tour, hitting the first tee-shot of the event and represent my country ahead of the UAE’s 50th anniversary” said Skaik, has also contested the past two Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships. “I’m so thankful for these opportunities. My game is in a good place following the Asia-Pacific Amateur Champs, so I’m hopeful to build upon it for a solid performance this week.

“Looking ahead, I’m hoping I can put myself in there amongst the big guns week-in, week-out. If the time is right, I aim to turn pro in six months to a year and try to be in incredible events like the Aviv Dubai Championship regularly.

“The ultimate goal is to inspire the next generation of golfers, including my younger brother. I think playing in these events really gives the younger guys a feeling it’s attainable.”

Updated: November 10th 2021, 10:01 AM