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Tributes pour in following death of prominent golf figure in Dubai

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A founding member of the golf club hosting this week's Dubai Desert Classic has died after suffering cardiac arrest while warming up on the driving range before the pro-am for the European Tour event.

The European Tour says in a statement the course at the Emirates Golf Club was closed today following the death of Ashok Bakshi, who collapsed on the practice range and was transferred by air ambulance to a local hospital after being treated by the tour's chief medical officer. Bakshi died after receiving further treatment in hospital.

The pro-am was canceled.

The tour says Bakshi, who was a former captain of the club, was a "hugely popular figure throughout the golfing community in Dubai."

The tournament begins tomorrow.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend. He was a fun loving, generous and caring person, who always wore a smile on his face and had a positive attitude towards life," said Mohammad Juma Bu Amim, Vice-Chairman and CEO of event organisers golf in Dubai.

“He died doing something he loved. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. May God rest his soul in peace.”

Duleep George, Executive Director of Strategy and Marketing at Gulf News, said: “One always remembers how jovial he was. He was a treasure-house of jokes and always ready to help out. He was great company on the course.”

PA Media