Othman Almulla takes positives from encouraging run at the Saudi International

Othman Almulla is hoping to use his impressive early season showing at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers as a springboard for the rest of the season.

Saudi Arabia’s sole professional golfer followed his superb round of 71 on Thursday with a round of 76 to finish on 7 over in the challenging stormy conditions that faced the players on Friday at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

Although the 34-year-old missed the halfway cut he showed he could mix it with the world’s best who have already played several tournaments already this season in comparison.

“Although today’s round was a bit disappointing it was a super experience again. I’ll take a lot from the week as I hit the ball really well both days,” said Almulla.

“A couple of decisions in the tough conditions this morning put me behind the 8 ball when I was trying to get a couple of strokes back to get closer to the cut line. I’ve learnt a lot. I’m proud of myself and how I carried myself out there and looking forward to what the future holds and all these experiences that are coming for me and for Saudi golf.

“I’m hoping we complete the MENA Tour season and then see what I can get into and if there are some cool opportunities along with the Asian Tour Q School and European Tour Q School and continue to build.

Four-time major winner Ernie Els, another huge name to tee it up this week in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), feels patience is needed for the Saudi players in their quest for development in the professional ranks.

“Golf is still so new to Saudi Arabia; it will take some time,” said Els after his round.

“I’ve played with Othman before and he’s on the right track, but it is still relatively early days for golf here and he’s been behind the eight ball. With facilities and resources growing I think lots more talent will come through.”

Saudi Amateur, Saud Al Sharif, was another local player to take a huge amount from playing at the top echelon on the European Tour.

“I feel like this was a relatively good experience. Although, I didn't play my best I came out with a lot of positive outcomes as an amateur. I’m still learning and every year I come back learning new skills and advancing that bit more.”