Oman golf: Azzan Al Rumhy wins Pro-Am title at MENA Tour event in Jordan
October 7, 2017 | 9:27 PM
by Sports Reporter
Oman's Azzan Al Rumhy, left, stands next to Oman Golf Committee vice-chairman Ahmed Faisal Al Jhdhamy as he displays his trophy. Photo - Supplied

Muscat: For the first time since his MENA Tour journey began three years ago, Oman’s top amateur Azzan Al Rumhy won the Pro-Am title at the inaugural Ayla Golf Championship in Jordan.

The Pro-Am event was organised a day before the start of the Ayla Golf Championship at Greg Norman-designed Ayla Golf Resort in Aqaba.

And Omani star won the title along with Swedish pro Fredrick Lindblom and fellow amateurs Amer Redha of Iraq and Eiad Shadedha of Jordan.

Azzan credited his satisfying show in the main event, Ayla Golf Championship, to the confidence boosting Pro-Am title win.

Speaking to Times Sport from Jordan on Saturday, Azzan said: “Obviously I am very happy to win the Pro-Am event. This is my first Pro-Am victory in a MENA Tour event.”

“The experience of playing on the course during the Pro-Am event and the eventual victory definitely helped me do well in the main event. Thanks to that experience I made the cut in the main event and qualified for the final round... for the first time since I have started playing on MENA Tour three years ago,” Azzan explained.

“I am really happy with my second round three over par score,” he went on to add.

That second round performance helped Azzan to finish among the top four golfers from nine Arabs who took part in the event.

Azzan also expressed confidence that the Pro-Am title and is overall performance will stand in good stead in the future tournaments, especially in the Pan Arab Golf Championship scheduled to take /place at the same venue at the end of November.

“This performance has given me a lot of confident. And I also feel I have gained good knowledge of this course and a lot of experience of playing on the course. I am really looking forward to return to this course and I am confident of doing well in the Pan Arab Championship at the same venue,” Azzan said.

Maiden title for Elson

Meanwhile, Jamie Elson won the inaugural Ayla Golf Championship in a tense playoff on Saturday, holing a four-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to beat fellow Englishman Luke Joy in an exciting finish to the first professional golf event in Jordan.

Elson, the current MENA Tour Order of Merit leader, eagled the final hole in regulation en route to a closing 68 to set the clubhouse target of a seven-under-par 212 that Joy matched with a 72, birdieing the last after producing a stunning hole-in-one on the 12th.

Both birdied the first extra hole to extend the proceedings, but a wayward drive by Joy opened the door for Elson to secure his breakthrough win on the MENA Tour he first played last year.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre fired a sizzling nine-under 64 to set a new course record, eclipsing a 67 shot by Sweden’s Henric Sturehed in the second round to move into a four-way tie for third on six-under after an action-packed day.

England’s Joe Heraty, who carded a bogey-free 68, Italy’s Rocco Sanjust (67) and Sturehed (73) joined MacIntyre in the group, four clear of the English duo Zane Scotland and Lee Corfield and Sweden’s Fredrik From.

“Quite surprised to win, to be honest. Struggled a bit on the front nine, but made a nice birdie on the ninth to get to level-par for the day. Thereafter, I played solid golf and holed putts when I needed to, to get into the playoff,” said Elson.

“Playoff could have gone either way, but I hit some great shots and made putts to get the job done, finally,” said the 36-year-old Englishman, eagled the last in regulation, hitting his eight-iron approach from 185 yards to with two feet.

Scotland’s MacIntyre, tied for 15th at the start, produced the round of the tournament to make his professional debut an event to remember.

“I was far off from the field after a disappointing 78 in the opening round and had nothing to lose. Played a bit aggressively and that approach paid off,” said the Scotsman, who eagled the final hole after hitting his nine-iron approach from 168 yards to within nine yards.

“I can always take a lot of confidence out of the last two bogey-free rounds, a lot of positives,” said the 21-year-old, who hails from Oban, a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland.

England’s Todd Clements, the first round joint leader with Joy, closed with a 72 to share the honours with Michael Harradine of Swtizerland in the amateur division after both finished on one-over-par 220, well ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Othman Almulla and Jordan’s Shergo Al Kurdi who tallied matching 13-over for the tournament.

England’s Mark Chamberlain also had something to cheer about as he aced the 179-yard, par-3 16th with an eight-iron for his first hole-in-one since turning professional in 2011 — and the fifth overall — as he finished tied 47th.

The MENA Tour will travel to Kuwait for the Sahara Kuwait Golf Championship to be held from October 16 to 18, the last event on this year’s schedule before the field whittles down for the 72-hole Tour Championship hosted by Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman from October 23 to 26.

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