Oman Golf: Azzan Al Rumhy leads home challenge in MENA Golf Tour event

Sports Sunday 23/October/2016 13:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman Golf: Azzan Al Rumhy leads home challenge in MENA Golf Tour event

Muscat: Lee Corfield will be hoping to pick up plenty of good vibes when he returns to the Ghala Golf Club in Muscat to defend his title this week as the MENA Golf Tour reaches its business end.
Currently placed ninth on the Order of Merit, the 34-year-old Englishman needs another strong finish at the Ghala Open, starting on Monday, in his quest to close the gap on the leaders, but will have to be wary of rivals lining up as potential roadblocks along the way.
“Everybody is capable of having a great week and win, but it feels nice to come to a venue where you have enjoyed a bit of success. My game is in good shape and I am really looking forward to the week ahead,” said Corfield, who racked up a creditable tied 11th at last week’s Sahara Kuwait Championship.
The Ghala Open — the 15th and penultimate event on the tour — offers one last chance to competitors to consolidate their positions on the Order of Merit before the ‘cut’ is made for next week’s season-ending Tour Championship, which boasts a prize fund of $100,000.
Craig Hinton currently leads the Order of Merit for professionals, but with the likes of his fellow Englishmen Zane Scotland, Andrew Marshall and Luke Joy Dodd snapping on his heels, the prognoses points to an interesting finish.
Going forward many good storylines could unfold during the week as England’s Joe Heraty, who matched the MENA Golf Tour record for the lowest 18-hole score with a 62 en route to his two-shot victory in Kuwait last week, will be hoping to make it two in a row and join an exclusive club of multiple winners on the tour.
In the amateur division, Chile’s Matias Calderon, who also shot a 62 last week, and Brazil’s Tiago Lobo headed for another showdown if they could produce the same kind of form they showed in finishing tied third in Kuwait.
Top-ranked Omani golfer Azzan Al Rumhy, who lives just a sand wedge away from the course, will spearhead the home challenge in the MENA Division that features leading players from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, including Othman Almulla and Khaled Attieh, while Morocco’s Younes El Hassani and Lebanon’s Peter Badawy headline the star cast in the region’s professional division.
Surrounded by the iconic Al Hajar mountain range that provides a stunning backdrop, Ghala Golf Club wears a new look after undergoing several significant changes in the last 12 months to make it more playable.
An upgraded driving range, a new 5th green, re-shaped sandy areas and bunkers and re-designed holes 8 and 9 highlight some of the changes at the oldest course in Oman, first established in 1971, ensuring a true test of golf.

Current order of Merit standings:
Professionals: 1. Craig Hinton (England) $35,164; 2. Zane Scotland (England) $32,094; 3. Andrew Marshall (England) $27,450; 4. Luke Joy (England) $26,020; 5. Antonio Costa (Chile) $24,330; 6. Fredrik Lindblom (Sweden) $17,168; 7. Joe Heraty (England) $ 15,708; 8. Wolmer Murillo (Venezuela) 15,000; 9. Lee Corfield (England) $14,991; 10. Carlos Balmaseda (Spain) $14,524.
Amateurs: 1. Rayhan Thomas (India) 297 points; 2. Tiago Lobo (Brazil) 155; 3. Matias Calderon (Chile) 152; 4. Edward Holland (England) 145; 5. Benjamin David (England) 142.