Now in its 12th year the Oman Amateur Opens made a welcome return this weekend at Ghala Golf Club. Played for the 6th time under the sponsorship of OHI the event brings together the OHI Oman Amateur Open, the OHI Ladies Open, the OHI Juniors Open, and the OHI Under 13’s Open which are all played consecutively over two days.
The event proved to be as popular as ever with entries filling within 48 hours of opening. The event was supported by players from within Oman and thanks to the addition of official Amateur World Golf Ranking (WAGR) points and an invitation for the top 18 players to progress to a third round, after which the leading player would receive an invitation to participate in the upcoming International Series Oman Asian Tour professional event, the field saw elite amateurs from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt also competing.
In the Ladies Division Al Mouj member, Lynn Casey, added a fine 72 to her first round 77 to claim an unprecedented 6th OHI Oman Ladies Open. The Net Ladies Open was claimed by Stine Rees with net scores of 65 and 72.
Although also competing within the overall OHI Oman Amateur Open those players aged under 18 also had their own division. The gross junior winner with scores of 76 and 78 was Ayman Al Busaidi who held off Adam Al Barwani who’s second round 75 brought him in as gross runner up, Ayman’s younger brother Faris took the net junior title with a net 72 and 74.
In a very encouraging indication of the future of golf in the Sultanate the Under 13’s OHI Junior Open was hotly contested with Dineth Jayasinghe ultimately taking the top spot with scores of 90 and 83 to edge out Yusuf Al Rumhy by six strokes, in the net division another Al Busaidi, this time Taimur took the honours with a net score of 152.
In the largest division of the event visiting golfers from the UAE set the first round mark with brothers Jay and Sam Mullane posting 70 and 72 respectively. In the final round three players separated themselves from the field with Ahmed Al Wahaibi scoring a tournament best -5 67 to push into third place, Sam added a -1 71 to his first round score to finish in runner up spot and Jay produced a matching second round -2 70 for a gross total of 140 and the 2024 OHI Oman Amateur Open title. By virtue of his strong second round Ahmed Al Wahaibi claimed the net trophy with a two round total of net 138.
Left to right, Jay Mullane, Sam Mullane, and Ahmed Al Wahaibi
The players were full of praise for the event and in particular the condition of the golf course with many of the visiting golfers already planning their trip for next year.
With the event concluded the top 18 gross players’ thoughts turned to the following day where they had the opportunity return to Ghala Golf Club for an additional round in an effort to claim an invitation to compete in the upcoming International Series Oman Asian Tour event at Al Mouj Golf. The event, which will be played from the 22nd to the 25thFebruary, will allow the qualifiers to rub shoulders and compete against the best players on the Asian Tour with many LIV players already committed to play.
Mundhir Al Barwani, Chairman of the Oman Golf Association, said “We must thank Mr Ammar Maqbool Al Saleh and OHI for their ongoing support of the Oman Amateur Opens, the strength of field is testament to the popularity of the event and we have witnessed some fantastic golf over the last two days. The opportunity to develop golf in Oman amongst juniors, ladies, and our elite amateurs is a key focus of the OGA and we are very thankful to both OHI and the Asian Tour for allowing this to happen”.
Ammar Maqbool Al Saleh, Chairman of the OHI Group added “"OHI Group proudly supports the spirit of excellence demonstrated on the greens of Ghala Golf Club. Golf is more than a sport; it symbolizes the power of partnerships and building strong relationships. Witnessing elite amateurs from across the region compete showcases the strength of collaboration and the shared passion for the game. We believe such events contribute to the growth of the sport and celebrate the values that bring people together. Congratulations to all participants, and best wishes to the Oman Golf Association on their future endeavors."