Salhab shoots career-best 68 to win SABB Golf Championship

Best Gross champion Faisal Salhab and Best Net champion Nick Palce with Khaled Abunayyan, David Dew, Tariq Javed and Bouchaib El Jadiani. (Photo by Noel A. Alipoyo)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Salhab shoots career-best 68 to win SABB Golf Championship

RIYADH: Faisal Salhab is on a roll to claim his third win in four starts since his return from a self-imposed nine-month hiatus from golf.
Salhab, arguably the most talented among twentysomethings in the Saudi talent pool, declined to be selected for the national team due to his college studies, and yet his form suggested what might have been missed from the 21-year-old.
In a near-flawless display, Salhab shot a career-best four-under 68 to win the Best Gross title in the 12th annual SABB Golf Championship at Dirab Golf & Country Club on the outskirts of Riyadh.
“My game it’s working. The ball’s just going in. I’m playing really good. I’m handling it. I’m happy with my golf again. No pressure. I’m just enjoying it,” said Salhab of his prodigious performance in which he missed only one green, thanks to his superb iron play, and three fairways.
While happy with his score Salhab, who won the Round Eight of the Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge 2017 and Marriott Riyadh-Dirab Corporate Golf Tournament to open the 2017-2018 season at Dirab, lamented the six makeable putts that he missed.
Salhab, an engineering student at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, was level par at the turn after a birdie at the ninth to offset his lone bogey at the seventh, the result of an aggressive chip and putt that was off line.
Salhab was putting for eagle on the par-five ninth after his seven-iron approach settled 25 feet from the cup.
Keeping his mistakes to the minimum, Salhab scorched the back nine, birdieing the 13th and three of the last four holes to finish four-under for the tournament.
Salhab, out for nine months to attend to personal issues, birdied all but one of the four par-fives including the 15th that saw another two-putt birdie. On 16th he dumped an eight-iron to 15 feet and made the birdie putt, then on the 17th he converted a five-footer after a good drive and a wedge from 70 yards.
Salhab was dialed in on the day to dominate a full field of 120 players. One of his playing partners, Dan McLaughlin, a two-handicap golfer, came apart apparently undone by the pressure while trying to catch up with Salhab. McLaughlin eventually finished on 91 following back nine of 46.
“I think this is not the best time for me to be with the national team. I’d be happy to play next year,” said Salhab who tipped his hat off to the Saudi team that came sixth in the 37th Pan Arab Amateur Championship that ended on Sunday in Jordan.
“They gave it their best shot but it’s simply not their week,” said Salhab who became club champion with the victory that mirrored a feat he achieved in 2015.
Stealing some of the thunder from Salhab was the Filipino trio of Nick Palce, Alex Arellano and Benjamin Santuyo.
Palce outdid himself as he won Best Net honors on 63 from a gross score of 91 and handicap of eight. Arellano won the Men’s First Division (handicap 0-9) on 70 (77-7) while Santuyo was the Men’s Third Division (19-28) champion on 70 (92-22).
Declan Lee and Russell Hargrove rounded out the first three winners in the First Division on 72 (78-6) and 73 (79-6) respectively. Gil Verano and Azman Mokhtar finished second and third in the Third Division on 71 (90-19) and 73 (95-22).
The Second Division (handicap 10-18) crown went to Waheed Aslam on 68 (84-16) with Majid Soror at second and Tariq Khan at third place via the countback after both players tied on 70.
Paromita Mukherjee, Joaun H. Kim and Chan Hwi Lee were the Ladies Division winners in the competition.
The skill prize for men’s and ladies longest drive went to Bernie Jacques and Chan and closest to the pin to McLaughlin.
SABB Managing Director David Dew handed out prizes to the winners during the prize distribution ceremony. Also present was Dirab Golf Committee Chairman Tariq Javed, golf course owner Khaled Abunayyan and DGC Golf Manager Bouchaib El Jadiani.


Ranieri confident of pulling ‘quality’ Fulham out of the mire

Updated 16 November 2018
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Ranieri confident of pulling ‘quality’ Fulham out of the mire

  • Ranieri, the manager behind Leicester’s incredible 2016 league title win, took over from sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday
  • Claudio Ranieri: When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be safe ... I need fighting spirit

LONDON: Claudio Ranieri said Friday that he was confident that he can drag rock bottom Fulham out of relegation danger after taking over at the newly-promoted Premier League side this week.
Ranieri, the manager behind Leicester’s incredible 2016 league title win, took over from sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday after his Serb predecessor only managed one win in 12 matches in his debut season as a coach in England’s top flight.
Fulham have lost nine times on their way to gaining just five points, but Ranieri believes there is still hope for a team bolstered with around 100 million euros ($114 million) of summer signings after winning promotion from the Championship last season.
“When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be safe ... I need fighting spirit,” said Ranieri to reporters on Friday.
The Italian wants to combine that talent — owner Shahid Khan splashed out on Jean Michael Seri Andre Schuedefensivesrrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson — with the grit that saw his Leicester team overcome all the odds two years ago.
“Quality with fighting spirit we can do a good job. If there is only quality, without organization, defensive tactics, it’s difficult to help the players to maintain the clean sheet,” added Ranieri.
“Now for me it’s important to put in the brain of my players this philosophy. Play football, play well, but when you lose the ball I want to see you with an anchor, like pirates.”
Ranieri returns to England as a coach for the first time since being sacked by Leicester in February 2017 after a disastrous title defense.
He was in Leicester last weekend to pay his respects to Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the four others killed in a helicopter crash last month.
However Ranieri played down suggestions of creating another miracle by winning the title with Fulham.
“Forget what happened yesterday, that was a bonus. A fairytale I forget,” the 67-year-old said of his and Leicester’s first ever league title win.
“Now it’s important, don’t think about the miracle. It’s important there will be a lot of battles and it’s important to be ready together.”
Asked whether he would reward his Fulham players with pizza when they kept clean sheets like he did at Leicester, Ranieri joked: “Pizza is not enough now. Better everybody to McDonald’s.”
He will face two of his former clubs in his first three games, with the December 2 trip to Chelsea followed by what will be an emotional return to Leicester three days later.
He said: “I think only of Southampton. In this moment it’s important. Don’t think about other things, Southampton, Southampton. And then after Southampton, Chelsea.”