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04 October 2023

US army officer wins draw to play Woods

Mohamed Juma Buamaim, Vice-Chairman and CEO golf in Dubai, and Mohamed Yahya of Dubal display the invitation to the winner of the Tiger Woods Pro Am competition. (SUPPLIED)

By Staff

An American army officer serving in Afghanistan has won the lucky draw to play with Tiger Woods during the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Pro Am at the Emirates Golf Club on Wednesday.

Over 16,000 amateurs golfers from all over the world registered online for the Tiger Woods Pro Am Competition that offered “the chance of a lifetime” to play alongside arguably the greatest golfer of modern era in the traditional curtain-raiser to the European Tour event.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Rowells, the winner of the competition, was picked by Mohamed Yahya of Dubal, a long-time sponsor of the tournament, in the presence of Mohamed Juma Buamaim, Vice-Chairman and CEO golf in Dubai, the promoters and organisers of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
It’s just a great coincidence that the winner of the online competition happens to be an army officer like Woods’ late father Earl, who himself had retired as a lieutenant colonel from the United States Army. In fact, the pet name ‘Tiger’ was borrowed from a Vietnamese soldier and friend of his father.
Lt Col Rowells, who plays off a decent nine handicap, will join Woods along with two other amateurs in a marquee four-ball during the Pro Am, and he is looking forward to the experience of a lifetime.
“I am thrilled and can’t believe my luck,” said an ecstatic Rowells, who will also receive two season ‘golf in Dubai’ hospitality tickets.
“I registered with little hope of actually being selected. What a shock I received when I was contacted by my wife with the news that I have won. I immediately had visions of the first tee with Tiger.
“Miracles do happen, and I am overwhelmed with the prospect of playing not only with Tiger, but also the Majlis course as well. Truly a dream come true,” said the army officer, currently deployed to Afghanistan with the 401st Army Field Support Brigade.
“I would like to thank ‘golf in Dubai’ for coming up with this unique Tiger Woods Pro Am competition and wish them all the best for the tournament. I hope I will be able to reduce my handicap after watching Tiger play up close and personal.”
‘golf in Dubai’ was delighted with the overwhelming response to the competition. “The very intention behind organising this competition was to get fans, who themselves are golfers, involved with the tournament,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim.
“It’s quite encouraging to see how they have responded to the competition. I would like to thank all them for their participation. It is the family feel to the tournament that keeps motivating us to try and experiment with new ideas. I hope Lt Col Rowells will return home with pleasant memories from the tournament,” he added.
‘golf in Dubai’ is backed by Omega as the title sponsor and Dubal (Dubai Aluminium) as the sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Emirates Airline, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Jumeirah, Mercedes-Benz and wasl while Dubai Duty Free, Carpetland and Motivate are the Patrons in golf in Dubai’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.