(From left to right) Yuxin Lin of China, Ahmed Skaik of United Arab Emirates, Keita Nakajima of Japan and Puwit Anupansuebsai of Thailand pose for a photocall in front of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, ahead of the 2021 Asian Amateur Championship being played on the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club.

Dubai: The 12th edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) gets underway on Wednesday morning at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, and UAE national team player Ahmad Skaik will have the honour of hitting the first tee shot at the tournament which runs from November 3-6. 

Skaik, the current UAE No.1, will lead off in an impressive field that includes Keita Nakajima of Japan, the No.1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), and China’s Yuxin Lin, the two-time AAC champion who is aiming to surpass 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and become the first player to win the AAC title three times.

Created in 2009, the AAC was established to further develop amateur golf in the Asia-Pacific region, with the champion receiving an invitation to compete in the 2022 Masters Tournament and The Open, two of four Majors on the golfing calendar, while the runner(s)-up gain a place in Final Qualifying for The Open.

Skaik said: “It is a real honour to host the tournament as a country, and to be given the privilege to hit the opening ball of the entire tournament is even better. I’m just excited to get going and it is good to go out first. It means a lot as the AAC is a very big tournament.

“In terms of conditions, I think the ball will fly a bit faster in the morning. The Creek course can be a little windy in the afternoon but over the first two rounds we are going to get exposure to both morning and afternoon golf so it is not going to make such a difference. I’m playing pretty good, let’s see how it goes.”

Khalid Yousuf, Khalifa Al Masaood and Rashid Al Emadi will also be representing the UAE in the field alongside Skaik, and all will be aiming for a shot at glory which would bring a dream spot at the Masters in Augusta and at the 150th edition of The Open at St Andrews, two of the biggest dates in world golf.    

About the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship:

The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship was created in February 2009 as a joint initiative to grow the

game by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, the Masters Tournament and The R&A. The 120-player field is annually comprised of the top male amateurs in the Asia-Pacific region representing the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation member organisations. The champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament and The Open, while the runner(s)-up gain a place in Final Qualifying for The Open.