Chips, Chaps, dodgy Divots and Eddie: The tale of the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup 2018

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

It was a brave effort but, in the end, ‘Chaps’ (Jonathan) Holland and his pet ‘Movember’ moustache Eddie (named after the English rugby manager) came up just short in the battle to win the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup. As I predicted in my last Blog, a night of revelry at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Village party offered Chaps plenty of stabilising pints but not so many stableford points the following day.

Perhaps it was just as well. Can you imagine all those pictures of Chaps holding up the trophy with what looks like a large and very hairy garden insect crawling along his lip? I for one am very happy that Movember is drawing to a close.

Dubai Duty Free officials headed by Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin (fourth from left) presenting the trophy to Cees van Dooren, overall winner of the 26th Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup 2018. Colm is joined by Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Cidambi (third from left); Executive Vice President – Corporate Services Salah Tahlak (second from left); Senior Vice President – Marketing Sinead El Sibai; and Des Smyth, golf professional.

As I also anticipated, a strong challenge for this year’s trophy emanated from the Galway branch of The Moodie Davitt Report, Dermot Divot himself, who scored a stunning 41 points on the second day, considerably more it must be said than the two-day total of his Kiwi business partner.

It’s been a bad week to be a New Zealand sports follower in an Irish context and the relationship between Dermot and me is now hanging by a very thin green and black thread.

Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland holds aloft his trophy for coming second on day 1, coincidentally the exact position his beloved English rugby team will fill in their inaugural Rugby World Cup first pool game in Japan next year.

Having seen the Dublin-born Divot win the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup a few years back and now secure the trophy for the best score by a visitor, I’m worried how he’s actually spending most of his time in deepest, darkest Galway. Certainly, his prolific work output appears to indicate that he’s working harder than ever but could it really all be the ghost writing work of his wife Michelle while Dermot fine-tunes his short game on the green, green fields of Ireland?

Dermot ‘Divot”s cup runneth over as he takes out another big prize at the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup. Both his handicap and working hours are currently under intense scrutiny.

As for me, I don’t need a ghost-writer, I need a ghost golfer, as my game is going backwards faster than an Alfa Romeo reversing down the Matterhorn. 13 points on the second day represented a new, desperate nadir after all these years of coming to this land in hope but not much glory. In fact, I am now officially recruiting for a ghost driver, a ghost fairway woodser, a ghost chipper (the best-paid of all roles on offer as my chipping woes have returned with a terrible vengeance) and a ghost putter. If you’re a ghost fairway ironser that will help you to be considered. All applications will be considered in total confidence. Terms (long) and conditions (miserable) apply.

It’s enough to drive a man to (the) drink: Now you just know where that ball is heading don’t you?

Driving blips, thinned chips, and putting yips aside, though, what a couple of days it has been. The hospitality of Dubai Duty Free is on such a level that you not only feel treated and privileged but also humbled. Thank you to Colm McLoughlin and all his team who give of their all and then give some more. The sense of family among the very large team who staff the event is palpable. And for a few days all the players feel very much part of it.

Members of the wonderfully hospitable Dubai Duty Free management led by Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin (second from left) and team welcome guests to the prize-giving.

Farewell then Dubai. Though only for now. Something tells me I will be back very soon. And anyway, I have a million dollars and a luxury car to pick up having entered the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draws (below) on the way out at Dubai International. I may not be able to drive a golf ball, but I sure would look good driving one of these beauties.

With Sri Lanka’s Murugiah Wignarajah, Assistant Supervisor at Dubai Duty Free. Murugiah recognised me as I was buying my Dubai Duty Free prize draw tickets. “You are Mr Moodie, I read you on The Moodie Davitt Report all the time,” he said. Thank you Murugiah. And let me tell you and all your colleagues at Dubai Duty Free how much I admire your unfailing professionalism and courtesy,
Ann Marie is from the Philippines. Her pleasant and welcoming demeanour typifies what one has come to expect from Dubai Duty Free.


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