Javier Gallegos held his nerve to win the inaugural MENA Golf Tour Qualifying School at Almenara Golf Club in the Spanish resort of Sotogrande in the Cadiz province on Tuesday.
One shot in front overnight, the young Spaniard Javier Gallegos carded a final round 73 to reach level-par for the tournament, two ahead of Scotland’s Duncan Stewart who closed with a 71.
The English foursome, comprising Liam Crawford, Andrew Marshall, Jordan Garnish and David Booth, finished in a tie for fifth a further shot adrift as the top 60 players were awarded Category-7 membership of the MENA Golf Tour for the 2016 season.
The leading 12 players shared a prize fund of $13,000 with Gallegos walking away with a winner’s cheque for $3,000. The top 15 also received complimentary Mena Golf Tour membership for 2016.
Gallegos started the final round with a birdie on the second, but two bogeys and a double bogey (on the 8th which he eagled in the first round) set him back. He, however, recovered well, playing his next 10 holes at two under.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, congratulated all the players who earned their playing rights for the 2016 season. “It was great to see players from so many countries compete in the Q-School, which was an apt reflection on the growing strength of the tour,” he said.
“By successfully hosting the Q-School, we have also fulfilled one of the major criteria in order to be awarded Official World Golf Rankings,” he added.
Entries to the Q-School, 92 in all, included an eclectic mix of experience and youth with English players leading the chart with 35 entries while 16 golfers spearheaded the Spanish challenge.
The MENA Golf Tour next travels to Morocco for the Royal Golf Anfa Mohammedia Open, starting from March 23 to 25 as part of its expanded 2016 schedule which see the tour cover new destinations in Kuwait, Egypt, Spain, Thailand and South Africa.
An initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Golf Tour was created in 2011 with the aim of developing golf in the region. It is affiliated to R&A, the worldwide golf governing body based in the home of golf, St Andrews, and the Arab Golf Federation.