Mena Tour News Information and Results

MENA Golf Tour stops in Ras Al Khaimah for a Classic

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Hajar Mountains, the Tower Links Golf Club is all set to welcome the MENA Golf Tour tee party when it competes in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic, the second stop on the Tour, on Monday.

The course, measuring 7,016 yards in length, will provide a challenging yet a fair test of golf for players aiming to consolidate the positions on the Order of Merit. Yasin Ali, who finished runner-up to England’s Zane Scotland in the Abu Golf Citizen Open last week, will be the first on the tee at 8.30am along with UAE’s Christopher Davies and Moroccan amateur Mustapha El Maouas.

In all 69 players, including eight amateurs, will line up for honours. The UAE-based professionals and amateurs are well represented in the event with 20 entries, followed in that order by Morocco (10), Kenya (six) and Pakistan (five) and Nigeria (three).

UAE’s Joel Neale, Ariel Ignacio of the Philippines and Scotland’s Greg Nicholson who made their debut as professionals in Abu Dhabi, are also included the field. It will be interesting to see how the trio, who now know what it takes to competes in the paid ranks, plan their games in the $50,000 event which is expected to unfold an absorbing battle in the sun.
Of three debutants, Nicholson, who scored a hole in one just hours after turning pro, finished a creditable tied ninth in Abu Dhabi while long-hitting Neale settled for 22nd with rounds of 71, 78 and 74 on seven over par 223 while the Filipino missed the cut.

If the scores of the first event in Abu Dhabi are any indication, the Moroccan and Pakistani players could pose a serious threat to Ross Bain and Yasin Ali, the two most experienced players in the field.
Former Asian Tour player Yasin had the chance to seal victory, but three-putted on the closing 54th hole which allowed England’s Zane Scotland to walk away with the title with Morocco’s Younes El Hassani finishing third and Scotland’s Bain fourth. Former European Tour player Scotland has opted out of this event, but will return for the Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open, the third stop on the tour.

Pakistan’s Shafiq Masih, who featured in the last group on the final day, just failed to keep the momentum going and stumbled to a disappointing 77, eventually finishing a tied seventh on one over par 217.
Ahmed Marjan of Morocco is leading the Order of Merit in amateur division, followed by Daniel Owen of Bahrain and UAE’s Miki Mirza. The 18-year-old Marjan is one of the leading amateurs from Morocco and did well in the recent Arab Championship, finishing a creditable third.
According to Simon Payne, the head golf professional at the Tower Links Golf Club, the course is set up nicely, but three tricky holes will hold the key to posting good numbers. “Anyone walking off with a par on the fifth (par-5), 13th (par-5) and 17th (par-4) would have done a great job. Any better scores on these holes will be a bonus,” said Payne, who is also competing in the event.

“These three mangrove-lined holes will make or break a round,” said Payne who himself holds the unofficial course record of five-under-par 67. “The par-five18th is reachable and we can expect lot of eagles there. It’s a great finishing hole and could well decide the winner on the final day,” he added.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, thanked the players for their enthusiastic response to the tour. “It’s great to see players from so many countries sign up for the tour events.
“Some are using this platform to rekindle their careers while others are trying to establish their credentials on a bigger stage. And that has added spice to the competition. Above all, golf is seen more serious and more credible. I am really pleased the way things are shaping up.”

Photo: The Moroccan players practicing their putting strokes at the Tower Links Golf Club on Sunday.

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