Oman women golfers to debut at Arab meet
The recent efforts by the Oman Golf Committee (OGC) to promote golf among the Omani juniors and women have met with reasonable success with a new crop of juniors and women ready to compete at regional competitions.
And in a first, the OGC will field a two-member women’s team at the forthcoming ninth Arab Women’s Golf Championship that will be held along with the 18th Arab Junior Golf Championship at the El Kantaoui golf course at Sousse in Tunisia from November 16-18.
Jumana Ibrahim al Ghadaini and Asma al Rashdi will make their Arab debut as the two women golfers were named by the OGC on Sunday.
Oman will also be taking part, as in the previous editions, in the junior championship with three U15 players picked for the event.
The U15 team will comprise Ayman al Busaidi, Mohammed al Balushi and Mohammed al Naamani.
Asma had earlier competed in the GCC U15 Golf Championship in Manama, Bahrain, last year, when she along with Huwaida al Barwani, had also claimed a silver medal in the three-team event.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Steven Troup, the national team chief coach, said, “This is the first time that we have a women's team at an Arab event. Asma, who had played for Oman at junior level, will be joined by Jumana Ibrahim, who has been playing golf for less than a year.
“To have a women's team at an Arab event is a positive step forward for golf in Oman. The majority of the Arab countries have fairly established national women players. So the expectation from our team would be to enjoy the experience and learn from it.”
“Their participation will help us rope in more women players in future to build a larger pool of golfers in future,” he added.
Asma is delighted to make her debut in women's category and said, “I am honoured to represent my country and I will do my best. I hope to return with a good result.”
“The U15 team is well represented by talented regulars in Ayman al Busaidi and Mohammed al Balushi. Both qualified to represent Oman after finishing second and third respectively in the Golf Oman Order of Merit.
“The current Order of Merit leader is 14 year old Mohammed al Naamani, who will be making his Oman debut.
“Mohammed has achieved his golf handicap this summer. He has been working under me for the past seven months and has managed to achieve a handicap of 20 and has climbed up the junior rankings quickly,” said the team manager.
Troup said, “A team with the quality and potential that our players possess put us in a good position whilst being up against some established U15 teams in the Arab region. We are hopeful of a good result.”