Saudi golfers ready to defend Pan-Arab title

Saudi national golf team to the 37th Pan Arab Golf Championship during the MENA Tour event at Dubai Creek Golf Club. From left, Saud Al-Sharif, Othman Almulla, coach Ali Balharith, Abdurahman Almansour and Ali Alsakha. (AN photo)
Updated 01 November 2017

Saudi golfers ready to defend Pan-Arab title

JEDDAH: The Saudi national golf team are preparing to defend their Pan-Arab Golf Championship title in Jordan by playing in a number of overseas tournaments.
The young quartet of Othman Almulla, Khaled Attieh, Saud Al-Sharif and Ali Al-Sakha stormed to victory in the 36th staging of the event at Gala Golf Club in Muscat last year, winning the team event by a remarkable 16 strokes. Attieh then completed a Saudi double by winning the individual crown, although his studies may prevent him from defending his title.
Attieh and Al-Sharif will warm up for Arab golf’s blue-riband event by playing in the Asian Amateur Championship at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand. Kingdom No. 1 Almulla, who will lead the national team in the prestigious four-team three-to-count annual event, has just completed his eight-leg stint on the MENA Tour where he finished eighth overall in the amateur division.
Al-Sharif, 17, will be in Tunis to represent Saudi Arabia in the Pan Arab Junior (Under-18) Champion-ships Oct. 31 to Nov. 4. Al-Sharif then joins teammates Almulla, Attieh, Ali Alsakha and Abdurahman Almansour in Malaysia for the Nomura Cup Nov. 9 to 12.
Meanwhile, Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, CEO of the Public Investment Fund, has been appointed as the new President of Saudi Golf Federation (SGF), Yousuf Eddiweesh is the vice president in a major reshuffle announced by the General Sports Authority that has seen 13 new federation heads appointed and eight sport federations created.
“The best thing that ever happened to golf,” national golf team coach Ali Balharith told Arab News of the appointment of Al-Rumayyan. “We are excited. Al-Rumayyan could do a lot in the promotion of golf in the country. He is passionate about golf being a golfer himself.” Balharith, 64, is widely considered the grand old man of Saudi golf. He was there as a player when Saudi Arabia first competed at Pan Arab in 1979 as well as when the national team pulled of the historic double last year in Oman, ending a 37-year wait for victory, this time as a coach.

Treble-chasing Bayern to hunt their 2nd title this season on Saturday

Updated 04 July 2020

Treble-chasing Bayern to hunt their 2nd title this season on Saturday

  • Due to COVID-19 pandemic, only 700 fans will be allowed into the stadium for the final game

BERLIN: Treble-chasing Bayern Munich are hunting their second title this season in Saturday’s German Cup final, a behind-closed-doors showdown that should have been an “absolute highlight” for success-starved Bayer Leverkusen fans.

Normally, the end-of-season showpiece final at Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium would be a festive affair in front of a packed house of 75,000 supporters.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic just 700 will be allowed into the enormous stadium for this year’s final, including both teams, their backroom staff and officials.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew is one of the few invited guests.

After the final whistle, when German FA president Fritz Keller hands over the trophy, only the cheers of the winning team will echo around the cavernous stadium.

Former Bayern president Uli Hoeness finds it “a pity” that no fans will be present for the Berlin spectacle, while Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller feels the same before his club’s first cup final since 2009.

“For our fans, this would have been an absolute highlight after many years,” said former Germany midfielder Voeller.  “To play in this giant cauldron in front of just a few spectators is quite sad.”

Nevertheless, holders Bayern are determined to defend the cup, even if head coach Hansi Flick admits that without traveling support, their fans will be “very, very absent.”

Having lifted the Bundesliga trophy last Saturday for the eighth straight year, Bayern are targeting the next piece of silverware in their treble bid before tackling the Champions League in August.

“The boys are up for it and want to win the next title, we will do everything we can to achieve that,” said Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic.

“We are very optimistic that we will come out as winners.”


Sane joins Bayern

Separately, Leroy Sane has targeted Champions League glory with Bayern Munich after joining the Bundesliga giants from Manchester City for a fee of around €50 million ($56 million) on Friday.

The Germany winger has returned to his home country on a 5-year contract after receiving the blessing of City coach Pep Guardiola.

“Bayern is a very big club and has big goals — these goals suit me as well,” said the 24-year-old Sane.

“I want to win as many titles as possible with Bayern, and the Champions League is at the top.”

The Bundesliga champions did not give the transfer fee, but Sky Sports and the BBC have reported that Bayern and City agreed a fee of €60.8 million. 



German daily Bild claim the fee is around
€50 million.