Muscat: Veteran golfer Ali Hameed secured the prestigious Oman Senior Open for the third successive time at the Ghala Golf Club on Saturday.
The 13th edition of the annual competition, organised by the Oman Golf Committee (OGC), saw participation of 90 golfers.
The day-long tournament, played on the 18-hole course of the Ghala Golf Club, was supported by Bank Muscat, Haya Water and Omanline Institute.
While a confident Ali Hameed excelled in the gross category taking the top honours, Dr. Mohammed Al Rumhy, the Minister for Oil & Gas and the Patron of the OGC, won the second place.
Ali Hameed compiled a score of 78 to secure the Claret Jug and the gold medal. Dr. Al Rumhy carded 80 and beat Mike Rennardson, also 80, for the second place on countback.
Ali Hameed was thrilled to win the competition.
“It’s been a good win for me. It’s good to be back in the competition. I have won this title in the past and it feels nice to win again. The level of competition was quite good, we all enjoyed it,” he said.
In the nett leaderboard, it was Yvonne Welling who finished champion in the ladies’ category, with a score of 72. The runner-up prize was won by Nelly Materna with a score of 73.
James McDonough took the men’s nett title with a score of 66. C Das and Khawar Nabi finished with the same score of 70 but the former won the second place on countback.
Meanwhile, Ali Hameed also won the nearest to pin award while the prize for the longest drive went to Puli Sharma.
Mike Cuddihy scored 86 to take the Super Senior (60 years and above) gross title.
Later during an impressive ceremony, Sayyid Sulaiman bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, handed over the trophies and medals in the presence of OGC Chairman Mundhir Al Barwani and other top officials.
During the ceremony, the OGC presented a memento to Ali Hameed for his contributions to Oman golf. The player retired from the national team duty last year.
He had come into the competition as the title favourite, having emerged on top in 2014 and 2015.
Recalling the day’s action, he said: “Initially, it was a little tough out there. I wasn’t finding it easy to get into my rhythm. But as the day progressed, things got better for me and I began to play with more confidence.”
Ali Hameed pointed out that he particularly cherished his contest with Dr Al Rumhy.
“I enjoyed that bit a lot. The competition was good. At one stage on the 13th hole, things were really challenging for me. There was a light drizzle and the breeze was getting hard. I was lagging behind following a couple of bogeys. But later on the 17th hole, I managed to play better and stay ahead of him.”
OGC Chairman Al Barwani later thanked all the participants and sponsors, and he hailed the competition as a success.
“Yet again, the Oman Senior Open has been a tremendous success for all of us. The competition was great out there. My heartiest congratulations to all the winners.”