Mena Tour News Information and Results

Thriston Lawrence wins maiden Mena Golf Tour title in RAK

Thriston Lawrence broke through for his maiden MENA Golf Tour title, clinching the Ras Al Khaimah Classic by four shots at Tower Links Golf Club on Wednesday.

One stroke in front at the start of the day, the 18-year-old prodigy showed great strength of character in getting the job done as he closed with a 69 to reach 12 under par, playing the back nine at four under.

The 2016 European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke finished in a four-way tie for second, along with Tyler Hogarty, also of South Africa, Gabriel Canizares of Spain and Michael Downes of England.

Another South African MG Keyser was tied for sixth with Craig Hinton of England on seven under, but the day simply belonged to Lawrence who overcame a mid-round wobble to get over the line in a first for a South African on the MENA Golf Tour.

“I am absolutely delighted with the win, which is my first since I turned professional in June last year,” said Lawrence after receiving the winner’s trophy and a cheque for $9,000 from His Highness Shaikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

Clarke, who is the Patron of the MENA Golf Tour, and Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the tour, were also present at the presentation ceremony.

“This win means a lot to me since it has come against a top-class field and I will cherish it for a long time to come. Darren, we all know, is a great ambassador of the game and it was an honour competing against him,” said the South African, who made the turn at one over.

“I panicked a bit when I bogeyed three holes in a row from the seventh, but a birdie on the par-5, 13th when I reached the green in two calmed my nerves. Birdies on the next two holes meant I had a three-shot lead with two holes to go, which was a great confidence boost,” said Lawrence, who is managed by Andrew “Chubby” Chandler of ISM.

Calling him one of the brightest young stars to emerge from South Africa since Louis Oosthuizen, Chandler said: “With this win, Lawrence has already shown his extraordinary talent and if he continues to progress like this he’ll have a tremendously bright future.”

Clarke congratulated Lawrence, saying his performance is a reflection on the growing standard of the game on the MENA Golf Tour. “The conditions were tough, but this young lad played brilliantly and deserved to win,” said the 47-year-old Ulsterman, who shot a 71 in the final round.

Playing in the final group with Lawrence, Morocco’s Faycal Serghini carded a 74 to slip into a tie for eighth on six under, but had the consolation of winning the MENA Division, a good two shots ahead of his compatriot Younes El Hassani.

Improving with every outing, India’s Rayhan Thomas returned a final round 69 to join England’s James Allan atop the leaderboard in the Amateur Division on five under. Allan, who opened with a 67, just failed to summon his ‘A’ game when it mattered and had to settle for a 74 in the final round.

The MENA Golf Tour travels to Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club next week for the season-ending Tour Championship, starting on Monday.


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