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COVID-19: Dubai doctor surprised by world’s top golfers

Dubai: A frontline hero in Dubai’s fight against COVID-19 was given the experience of a lifetime ahead of the DP World Tour Championship, when three of the biggest names in global sport surprised her with the ultimate round of golf.

Dr Elanor McCarthy, a golf fan, was invited to play the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates by Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter, who then enlisted the help of two-time DP World Tour Championship winner Henrik Stenson, and Dr McCarthy’s favourite player Tommy Fleetwood, to complete the four-ball quartet.

Up until the surprise appearance from Poulter, Dr McCarthy believed she was visiting the course for an interview with the European Tour around the impact of coronavirus on the medical community in Dubai. The experience was arranged by DP World and the European Tour as a way of recognising and rewarding the hard work and sacrifice that Dr McCarthy and so many of her colleagues and co-workers in Dubai had to make during the global pandemic.

‘Honour to meet her’

DP World Ambassador Poulter said: “After hearing about Dr Ellie’s story, it was an honour to meet her and give a little something back to someone that has sacrificed so much. Our worlds have been turned upside down this year but it’s thanks to Ellie and so many others that our situations are improving. There are hundreds of thousands of incredible doctors and nurses around the world that are doing remarkable jobs and it was a pleasure for me to give her an experience she could truly enjoy.”

Short documentary

Due to her role on the frontline, Dr McCarthy, her husband and her three young children had to isolate from friends and family for over four months to reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus. Her rewarding golf experience was filmed as part of a short documentary, as a way of helping her shine a light on the work that front line heroes globally have done.

Dr Elanor McCarthy with Golf pros ahead of DP World Tour Championship.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dr McCarthy said: “Meeting some of the world’s best golfers and playing a round of golf with them was an incredible experience. I don’t work half as hard as lots of other frontline workers do, but thank you for a great day off. It’s been lovely to have a proper smile on my face for a day. I cannot remember the last time when I completely forgot about the work, so today has been amazing. There is so much more work to be done and I feel privileged that I’ve got a little bit rest today.”

English golfer Lee Westwood made a cameo appearance on the day to speak with her and pass on his thanks. He said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to spend some time with Dr Ellie today. She is a keen golfer and deserves a little treat for all she’s gone through this year. Without people like her we would have been in incredible trouble. This year has been tough enough as it is, but Ellie and other doctors and nurses are like angels that are helping us and keeping us safe.”

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