Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia were among a number of the game’s elite players to heap praise on Al Mouj Golf course ahead of the International Series Oman event on the Asian Tour this week.
Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference, Koepka and Garcia gave their first impressions on the stunning golf course in Muscat, Oman’s capital city.
“It’s a great golf course,” said four-time major winner Koepka, “I think it’s phenomenal. These greens are quite firm, a lot firmer than I thought they’d be.
“The putting surface is very true. Fairways are in great shape. I’ve been very, very impressed with the shape it’s in, so props to the superintendent for that. Like I said, this might be one of the better golf courses we’re going to see.”
In agreement with Koepka, Garcia said: “I think the golf course is in very good shape. It’s a beautiful part of the country with the water next to it, and obviously it can get windy and very tricky.
“But it also gives you for the most part, gives you good room off the tees to be able to hit some of these fairways, and then the tricky part is going to be hitting towards the greens, because like Brooks is saying, the greens are quite firm, and you have to fly it in the right spot to be able to hit it close. You can hit it to 20, 30 feet, but if you want to hit it close, you have to bounce it in the perfect spot, so I think it’s going to be a good challenge.”
Last year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit Champion Sihwan Kim also paid tribute to the course, saying “I’ve been here a couple of times and it’s always been in good shape. It’s firming up, and with the wind supposed to pick up a little bit on Thursday and Friday, I think it’s going to continue to firm up, and just those shots towards the green with a lot of false fronts and stuff like that, it’s going to be a little tricky.”
Getting ready to tee it up in his first International Series event, amateur Azzan Al Rumhy summarised the week ahead saying: “Yeah, I’m so fortunate to get this opportunity. I have got to play some of the other events in the past. We’ve been so lucky and blessed to have such a great golf course in our country, and a big event like this means a lot to us as golfers.
“The golfing community are all excited about this tournament. There’s a big buzz out there with the presence of Brooks, Sergio and Louis Oosthuizen and the other big names. We’ve got such a great field, an international and world-class field, and I’m really excited to be representing my country, Oman, in this tournament.”
Al Mouj Golf has now received 23 International Awards and has welcomed 16,000 golfers in addition to hosting 35,000 guests with many more expected as part of this latest competition. The course is a key asset of Al Mouj Muscat, the Sultanate’s leading leisure and lifestyle destination, and a joint venture between Majid Al Futtaim Properties, OMRAN, and Tanmia, and has been a key factor in job creation and attracting foreign investment for small and medium enterprises along with the tourism sector.
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