Italian job clinches Rolex Pro-Am slot

10/23/2012 1:21:50 PM
Ornella Parigi receives her invite to participate in the Rolex Pro-Am at the DP World Tour Championship from Spanish star Alvaro Quiros  (EuropeanTour)
Ornella Parigi receives her invite to participate in the Rolex Pro-Am at the DP World Tour Championship from Spanish star Alvaro Quiros (EuropeanTour)
Italy’s Ornella Parigi will enjoy the biggest golfing experience of her life next month when she competes in the Rolex Pro Am, curtain raiser for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai after winning the Grand Final of the Luckiest Ball on Earth competition.

While more than 1,500 amateurs from 19 clubs entered the nationwide initiative held in association with the Emirates Golf Federation, it was the 25-handicapper from Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi who won by the narrowest of margins over the Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

With a total of 37 Stableford points, Parigi won on a count-back from Kwang Jae Lee of Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club with Peter Goddard representing Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa one point adrift in third place. 

“All the way round I just wanted to concentrate on my golf and didn’t want to know my score until the end – it’s unbelievable that I have actually won,” said a delighted Parigi after collecting her Pro-Am invite from 2011 DP World Tour Championship winner Alvaro Quiros. “The Fire course was in fantastic condition and although I hit every fairway today my putting was not great so I’m shocked to have won and made it into the Pro-Am.”

With her place in the Rolex Pro-Am at the Earth course on November 20, Origi is in no doubt as to which of The European stars she would like to be partnered with.

“Of course, I would love to play with either of the Italian players Francesco (Molinari) or Matteo (Manassero),” she said, admitting that she is no stranger to the players competing in The Race to Dubai.

“My husband and I love golf and take holidays to follow some of the leading events on The European Tour in places like Holland, Scotland and France. Many of the players know me because I try to get them to sign things like golf gloves so I can auction them off and raise money for the charities I support. But it doesn’t really matter who I play with – I just know I will be very, very nervous!”

Other prizes on the day went to Emirates Golf Club’s Najla Bartette who won the Ladies’ Longest Drive, Robert Sheddan from Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club who collected the Longest Drive prize for men and Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s Richard Hall, winner of the Nearest The Pin event.

Parigi’s win on a countback (19 points on the back nine compared to Lee’s 18) brought to an end a thrilling competition which was once again fully supported by UAE clubs affiliated to the EGF – and with Spanish superstar on hand to present the prizes, it was a fitting finale as Jumeirah Golf Estates looks ahead to the DP World Tour Championship to be played on the Earth course from November 22-25.

“Our congratulations go to Ornella on her victory and to all the players for making it such a memorable Grand Final with just one point separating the top three,” said Nick Tarratt, European Tour International Director, Dubai Office. 

“Our thanks also go to the EGF, all the participating clubs, Jumeirah Golf Estates for hosting the Grand Final and, of course, to our reigning champion Alvaro Quiros for sharing his time with us and presenting the winners with their prizes.”

Spectators looking to follow the action at the 2012 DP World Tour Championship should register for free season tickets at the official website