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25 April 2024

Solid start for Emirati as nerves are banished

Emirati Khalid Yousuf is doing well (DENNIS B MALLARI)

By Gary Meenaghan

Emirati golfer Khalid Yousuf says he is benefitting from last year's experience after shooting one-over par after 10 holes on the opening day of the Dubai Desert Classic.

The 19-year-old is playing the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club for the second successive year after receiving a sponsor's invite from event organisers in Dubai. And the amateur, who plays off a one handicap, said: "This year I am a lot more relaxed, not as stressed and not so nervous. Last year my hands were shaking when I was placing the ball. I don't mind lots of people watching me, but I got nervous around the other players. Now though when I see them, they are like familiar faces."

Joining Yousuf on one-over is newly-announced European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and the Emirati is thrilled to be "up there with the big names".

"[Yesterday] went pretty well, but I missed a few putts which was disappointing. If I can handle the greens better I'm confident. I just hope there is no delay in the morning again as I am scheduled to tee off at 7.35am."

The Classic experienced a three-hour delay yesterday, due to dense fog.