Category: Morocco

November 12, 2008

Blogging the Hassan II Golf Trophy in Morocco, Part III

Posted at 12:14 PM by Jesse Reiter

Img_9176_6 Sunday was the final day of the Hassan II Golf Trophy, and as expected, Ernie Els won. He posted a final score of 17 under, followed by Simon Dyson in second and Johan Edfors in third.

The trophy presentation was lavish, complete with Scottish bagpipers and much of the upper echelon of the Moroccan government. Prince Moulay Rachid, who presided over the presentation, seemed very pleased with the outcome. At left, the prince presented Els with the trophy.

Ok, enough golf. Let's get back to the travel. Rabat is a small, lively city with much to offer even though it's not as populated as Casablanca or as exotic as Marrakesh. I visited some of the sights with another journalist and our guide from the tournament, Ilhem. Photos of my trip are after the jump.

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November 08, 2008

Blogging the Hassan II Golf Trophy in Morocco, Part II

Posted at 3:46 AM by Jesse Reiter

Greetings from Morocco. It's day three of the Hassan II Golf Trophy, and it is starting to get exciting. The first three days of the Hassan II have been the Pro-Am rounds. Each day the pros play two rounds with three Pro-Am partners, but the pros' scores count toward their overall total. On day four, only the pros play.

Img_8857 On day three, Mark O'Meara played with three talented young men. Before his morning tee time, I had a chance to talk to him. O'Meara said that this is his second time at this event and that he really loves it. He finds this Robert Trent Jones course very beautiful because of the many cork trees lining the fairways. He is already looking forward to next year's tournament.

Img_8889 By the end of the day, Ernie Els was the overall leader (surprise, surprise). Els has been the largest draw of the Hassan II, with the biggest gallery following him on every hole. His lead was due to several brilliant shots on the back nine. During a press conference, he said that he is looking into some pieces of property in Morocco to build a course.

Img_8943The young Russian phenom Maria Verchenova on the 17th, where she made eagle. That put her one off the lead at the end of the day's play.
She said that she would love to come and play on the LPGA, but she has not found a sponsor yet.

Tonight the Prince of Morocco is hosting a black-tie gala. The invitation is very fancy and clearly states "NO CAMERAS." Dedicated reporter that I am, I'm willing to risk life and limb to try and get my camera in. Wish me luck! Before I go, here's a sunset over the buildings of Rabat.

Check back soon for end of the tournament coverage, more on Morocco and the lovely city of Rabat.

November 06, 2008

Blogging the Hassan II Golf Trophy in Morocco

Posted at 3:31 PM by Jesse Reiter

Ernieelsreporters_2 Ahlan and Bonjour! Greeting from Rabat, the capital of Morocco, where I'm covering the Hassan II Golf Trophy at Royal Dar Es Salam Golf Club. Ernie Els, Mark O'Meara, Johan Edfors, Paul McGinley and Laura Davies are among the competitors.

So far I have been amazed at how passionate Moroccans are about golf. Even during the practice and Pro-Am rounds, crowds followed their favorite golfers. The Moroccan people, who switch easily between Arabic and French, have been very friendly so far.

I'll be blogging this week with photos and descriptions from the scene. Above, Ernie Els drew a crowd of reporters at the club.

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