With the political situation approaching the boiling point and an atmosphere
of unease and uncertainty filling the streets, a group of golfers decided to
hold a friendly golf match with the objective of bringing people from around
the world together in a show of solidarity and in the hope that this
initiative would become a yearly event. The inaugural match was played with
Kuwait on one side and Britain and the United States on the other. The date
was Saturday, March 08 2003 being a islamic holiday, and the venue was the
Ahmadi Golf Club, with the blessings of the club’s Captain, Mr. Ali Marzook
The teams were made up of 10 golfers each. A full two rounds or 36 holes of
golf were played in two formats, 5 Foursomes matches in the morning and 10
Singles matches in the afternoon with full handicap. The Kuwaiti team was
represented by a number of players from the National team and others who
have embraced the game and the idea behind this competition. The “Rest of
the World” team was represented by British and American expatriates living
and working in Kuwait.
Competition was fierce with the “Rest of the World” team hotly favored to
win. In the Foursomes format however, the Kuwaiti team surprised their foes
with determination and perseverance. Out of the 5 matches played, Kuwait
won 3, tied one and lost one. By the lunch break, there was talk of a
possible upset in the making. Kuwait was in the lead 3½ to 1½ matches. But
in golf, nothing is ever certain and momentum can switch at any time. In
afternoon play, in the singles Match Play format, the “Rest of the World”
team was working on a come back, winning 5 of 9 matches for a total 6 ½.
But the Kuwaiti team showed some resilience by winning 4 single matches for a total 7 ½.
With one match still out playing (Bader Yasin-Q8 vs. Colin Bickenson-UK) ,
the Kuwaiti team was sitting comfortable with a tie virtually secured.
The “Rest of the World” team would have to win the final match-up just to tie.
And it came down to the final hole. Bader Haider of the Kuwait National
team came back strong from being 3 down to Colin Bickenson, to a tie on the final hole.
With a bit of good fortune, Haider was able to win the hole and the match and in doing
so secured the upset victory for the Kuwaiti team.
The Rest of the World team was gracious in defeat, with Mr. Bernie Austwick (UK),
the man behind the idea, handing the trophy to the Kuwaiti team. Kuwait will now
hold the trophy for one year. It will be proudly displayed at the Ahamdi
Golf Club until next year’s event, which already promises to be a hot one,
with the "Rest of the World" team looking for revenge and redemption.