Dubai Dreams

We followed the fortunes of the finalists of the Matchplay Championship on their Dubai adventure.

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 02/07/13 5:22pm

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The 2013 Matchplay Championship has been staged in blistering hot conditions in Dubai with 40 lucky amateurs playing for three days at The Els Club.

The players were flown out to the Middle East after winning through from the Regional Finals at the Forest of Arden, and what a reward it is as they got to play a practice round and three competition rounds on a superb layout designed by The Big Easy himself.

Not only that, they were followed every step of the way by the Sky Sports cameras and we have highlights to be shown over the next few days.

The Els Club is used regularly during the winter months by the likes of the man himself, plus Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood among other who work on their games during the rare run without tournaments.

The competitors were treated like true professionals, being put up in the five-star JW Marriott Marquis - the world's tallest hotel - is a huge prize in itself, especially given the £30 per person entry fee.

In true tournament conditions, the players are followed by the TV cameras and also an official photographer snapping away around the course.

Added to that the fact the tournament has live scoring thanks to the VPAR system, meaning they can all see exactly where they stand on the leaderboard at all times - which made for some interesting and nerve-wracking finishes come Wednesday.

So, this was one of those very rare occasions when your average golfing fan gets the full professional treatment, like a football fan running out at Wembley or tennis fanatic getting to play at Wimbledon, playing a great course with television cameras pointed at you and being able to watch yourself back on Sky Sports later on is a true sporting dream come true.

Highlights on Sky Sports

You can watch all the action from the Matchplay Championship on Sky Sports.
July 2 7pm Sky Sports 4
July 3 12.30am Sky Sports 3
July 3 5am Sky Sports 3
July 3 2pm Sky Sports 1

It was no picnic on the first day of tournament action though in the scorching May heat of Dubai, coupled with an intense hot wind that the recently-retired Sir Alex Ferguson's hairdryer would be proud of.

The players battled through though, and with prizes, three days of great competition on a fantastic course and then sitting back at home and watching their efforts on Sky Sports!

If you fancy your chances of making the finals in Dubai next year you can still enter the 2014 event. Click Here for details of how to enter.

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