Scott Campbell held his nerve in demanding windy conditions to win the MENA Golf Tour’s season-ending event, presented by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, as South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence walked away with the Order of Merit title on Wednesday. Starting the day one shot in front, England’s Campbell closed with a two-under 69 to finish at 15-under for his maiden win since turning professional three years ago.
South Africa’s Tyler Hogarty, who returned a 65 – the day’s best score – joined England’s Craig Hinton for a share of second as another Englishman, Stuart Archibald, settled for fourth on 11-under.
“I am delighted to get the job done in tough conditions,” said a delighted Campbell after receiving the winner’s trophy from Mohammed Rashid Al Nasri, general manager of Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.
Saif Thabet of Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, were also present.
“I just concentrated on my game and holed some nice putts, especially the birdie on the 10th was crucial as it helped retain the lead. I managed to control the proceedings thereafter and played some solid golf coming home,” said the 24-year-old from Sheffield, who received a winner’s cheque for $13,500 for the biggest payday of his career.
“Before playing on the tour, I took some lessons from my coach (Pete Cowen) and that lifted my confidence,” said the Englishman, who enjoyed a two-shot cushion standing on the 18th tee.
His playing partner Hinton had his chances, but saw a couple of putts agonizingly lip out. “I think I played okay and it’s just that some of the putts refused to go in,” said the Englishman, who led by one shot at the turn.
“I bogeyed the 10th which gave Scott a two-shot swing and that, in the end, made the difference,” he said.
South Africa’s Lawrence carded a 70 to finish in a tie for sixth on six-under which was good enough for him to win the Order of Merit title with $27,679 (over Dh100,000) in earnings during the season, ahead of Spain’s Gabriel Canizares of Spain ($ 20,379).
England’s James Allan comfortably kept up his dominance in the Amateur Division, closing with a 70 to end the tournament at 10-under, well ahead of India’s Rayhan Thomas who finished at three over.
Younes El Hassani carded back-to-back 70s to win the MENA Division on four-under, two shots ahead of his fellow Moroccans Amine Joudar and three clear of Ahmed Marjan.
It was Faycal Serghini who topped the region’s Order of Merit for the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation award despite finishing at two over. “I feels great to win the award again, but I was nowhere near my best.
“My golf has been pretty inconsistent for the last four or five months. I need to really work hard on my game if I were to contend week in and week out. Hopefully, I will out stronger next season,” said the 38-year-old from Casablanca
Top five on the Order of Merit:
1.Thriston Lawrence (South Africa) – $27,679 (Dh100,000)
2. Gabriel Canizares (Spain) – $ 20,379
3. Paul Doherty (Scotland) – $19,135
4. Lee Corfield (England) – $ 19,079
5. Stuart Archibald (England) – $19,038
James Allan (England)
Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation Award:
Faycal Serghini (Morocco)