DUBAI // It is said experience has the innate ability to generate comfort even when faced with unnatural situations.
Yesterday, for the second time in three weeks, Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the UAE's congenial young amateur, swapped university studies for European Tour golf and showed at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic he is adapting to such distinguished new surroundings.
The 21 year old competed at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship last month, but conceded his gift for the game had gone missing, replaced by a nervous tension brought on by pressure and expectation. He finished his two rounds on 18-over.
Yesterday afternoon, in perfect conditions at the Emirates Golf Club, Al Musharrekh flirted with a below-par score for much of the front nine before making what he described as "a few amateurish mistakes" and carding out on four-over par 76.
"This tournament has been a more relaxed atmosphere; it just feels a lot more natural," he said. "On the first tee, I felt a little pressure, but I hit it good - straight down the middle - and then the pressure was pretty much gone.
"I was playing the golf that I wanted and had a lot of birdies out there, but the mistakes I made were just silly; you can't do that at events likes this."
When the Dubai-based Al Musharrekh played in the UAE capital last month, the field included Tiger Woods and the four highest ranked players in the game. It is an experience that has set him in good stead.
"I have definitely adapted to my environment a lot more and I am proud of myself for that; for handling it better," he said.
"I just need to learn now how to score and try to shoot under par. When playing alongside pros, you realise how inexperienced you are, and how difficult you make things for yourself.
"I was at stages under par today and I just want to keep that going now."