(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Golfers from the region have started arriving in the sultanate for the 17th GCC Golf Championship, to be organised by Golf Oman, under the auspices of the Ministry of Sports Affairs at Almouj Golf course from February 23-26.
Oman is hosting the regional championship for the first time. Participants from 15-time winner Bahrain, defending champion UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will join the Omani team on the fairways of the 18-hole, par-72 Greg Norman-designed course for the official practice round on Saturday before the competition tees off a day later. Oman's leading player Azaan al Rumhy said, ''We are looking forward to the competition. We will face tough opponents, no doubt. But then our team is used to the conditions on this course. So, we will have a slight home advantage going into this championship.''
The three-day competition will feature senior and junior categories. The home team for the seniors event comprises Azaan, Hamed al Rumhy, Ali Hameed al Saleh and Mohammed 'Eddy' al Mawali. The junior side consists of Ahmed al Balushi, Rashad al Harthy, and Hamood al Harthy. In an attempt to provide exposure to promising youngsters, Golf Oman announced on Tuesday the formation of a junior development team, which will include Fahad al Mahruqi, Amjad al Toqi and Fahad al Kitani, for the event.
The trio will get a chance to play alongside the junior players but will not be submitting their score cards. Mundhir al Barwani, Golf Oman's chairman, said, ''We have a line-up of big players in the GCC region. Omani players will surely benefit from being on the course with them.
Although golf has been played in Oman since the seventies, we are looking at developing it professionally, now that we have proper championship courses.'' Barwani thanked Etihad Airways, National Bank of Oman and Omantel for extending their support for the prestigious regional amateur championship.<