Monday

The Dubai Ladies Masters and "golf in DUBAi"

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Always a fun tournament to watch, The Dubai Ladies Masters turned five this year.  To that end I've chosen five of the many awesome stories to come out of the LET's 2010 season ending event.

Iben Tinning - As far as career endings go, they don't get better than Iben Tinning's win yesterday at the the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. A 20-foot birdie on the final hole allowed the her to win what she'd decided would be the final tournament of her 15 year LET career.

It was a particularly meaningful win for the 36-year-old Dane, a six time Ladies European Tour winner.  Tinning... whose husband Lasse was caddying for her...was the first Danish women to top the money list on any major international tour when she won the Order of Merit in 2005, however she hadn't won a tournament since.  Until yesterday... when she sealed the deal on a course she sites as one of her favorites in one of her favorite destinations in the world.  “Winning in Dubai had been my main goal", she said, "and that has been accomplished".

Christina Kim - Playing in the Dubai Ladies Masters for the second time this year Christina Kim finished in a tie for fourth.  Her top five finish... along with her distinctively colorful style and open, engaging personality... reinforced her reputation as one of the most entertaining players in women's golf and once again brought individuality,  excellence and excitement to an international audience of golf fans.  Kim is also an enthusiastic evangelist for global travel, and particularly for the unique experiences that await those who visit Dubai.


Michelle Wie - Michelle Wie's  fantastic final round 5-under 67 was the lowest of the day yesterday,  and gave her a share of sixth place for the tournament.

This allowed her to finish 2010 on a high note. The popular player revealed that she's getting physical therapy for her back issues.  Issues that have sidelined her the past few weeks.  Wie assured fans that she'll be resting and rebab-ing her problematic back and feels she'll be stronger by next year.

Lee Ann Pace - Player of the Year - Despite disappointing results in Dubai this week, South Africa's Lee Ann Pace finished a stellar LET season on Saturday, winning both the Henderson Money List and Player of the Year... as well as numerous heartfelt accolades from around the world.

Having turned professional in 2005, Pace played on the Duramed Futures Tour in 2006 before qualifying for the LPGA at QSchool in 2007.   She lost her LPGA card at the end of 2007, she qualified for the Ladies European Tour for 2008... again via Q-school... and her first win came just this past June at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, and she followed that up with a phenomenal four wins in rapid succession.

The Growth of Golf in the Middle East - 'golf inDUBAi' was created in 2005 to promote Dubai as one of the world's leading golfing destinations and to display Dubai's other international attractions to a worldwide audience.

The Dubai Ladies Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic... the two premier events promoted and organized by 'golf in DUBAi'... have showcased the emirate's vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience for a number of years. Their fields include the top professional golfers in the world and these international stars consistently praise the experience of playing... and spending time... in Dubai. 

Mohamed Juma Buamaim,  the Vice Chairman and CEO of 'golf in DUBAi' has a clear passion for the sport but has always been sensitive to the fact that until quite recently, golf was unknown to most UAE nationals. Several years ago he explained it this way: "We all grew up playing or watching football --- the sight of chasing that white tiny dimpled ball was something totally alien to the social fabric of our society".

That's clearly changed over the past decade and Boumaim... along with his counterparts in the golf federation that works under the title of Middle East and North Africa (Mena)... are planning to launch a new Middle East golf tour for the region's leading amateur and professional players. William Johnson, writing for The National, Abu Dhabi Media company's fine English-language publication, reports that the tour is likely to be launched either next year or in 2012, and could involve as many as six tournaments for the region's leading amateur and professional players. The main aim is to improve the standard of golf in the region starting at the amateur level and give aspiring Emirati professionals and those from the host of other nationalities who play the game in the Gulf Region, a platform from which to take the first step towards the paid ranks.