Regional golf round-up: Back nine heroics give Siphiwe Siphayi lead in MENA Tour event

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Siphayi leads going into the final day of MENA Tour’s Jo’burg City Masters.

Starting the day seven shots off the pace, Siphayi hit the hot streak after making the turn at two-under, rattling off six birdies, including four in a row on from the 12th to reach six-under for the tournament.

Overnight leader Bryn Flanagan settled for a level-par 72 that left him solo second on five-under, two ahead of England’s Craig Hinton and Pieter Kruger of South Africa.

Talented South African amateur David Meyers was a further shot back in a six-man group on two under as four shots separated the top 10 ahead of the final round.

Siphayi wielded a hot putter on a cold day to take centre-stage, making an improvement of a whopping 10 shots on his first-round.

“I just wanted to get back to level or maybe get a bit lower after shooting a 74 in the first round. I played really well on Monday, but just didn’t make any putts,” said Siphayi, who was placed tied 28th overnight.

“I just worked on the putting and, I guess, I just started dropping them. I started well on the first nine – it was actually quite funny because my golf shoe ripped on the eighth hole and I had to run in and buy some shoes. Maybe it was the new shoes that gave me the six under back nine.

“I made some nice long putts and it just got the momentum going. After the birdie on the 10th it just got better and better. I placed myself really well off the tee box. And yeah, we’ll have to see how it goes in the final round.

“Tomorrow, I’ll have the same game plan. I’ll get here and do my warm-up, get onto the course and like I said, get the lines right so you get one or two putts in and then hopefully shoot really low.”

The cut was made at four-over 148 with 53 players making it to the final round.

An initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Golf Tour was created in 2011 with the aim of developing golf in the region. It is affiliated to R&A, the worldwide golf governing body based in the home of golf, St Andrews, and the Arab Golf Federation and enjoys the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status.

Stathis Stathis and Formas in fine form

Stathis Stathis fired a superb seven-under par net 65 to win the OMA Emirates Monthly Medal series at the Emirates Golf Club which features a unique end-of-season Porsche shoot-out.

Stathis’ score saw him top the B Division by six shots from Patrick Mulligan in the June medal event, staged in association with Porsche Centre Dubai and Ascot and Chapels, with Mandeep Vora another shot away in third.

David Formas claimed victory in Division A, recording a five under-par net 67 to edge out Sushant Malik on a countback, with David Waite in third after returning a net 69.

Emirates scratch team captain Rohit Gupta produced a superb performance to win the best gross prize, recording a two-under 70.

Each of the monthly medal events features a Porsche Centre Dubai nearest-the-pin competition, and Formas became the third winner of the competition.

Stathis Stathis and Formas

Cool Cole cruises to win in DG Summer Series

Fran Cole scored an impressive 41 points to win the Dubai Golf Summer Series opener at Emirates Golf Club.

The Summer series, sponsored by Barclays, hosted over a 100 golfers on the Majlis course.

Cole recorded seven net birdies on her way to victory with only the two bogeys putting her ahead of the field by three points.

Amresh Sangani, who misplaced his driver before the game, played with only a hybrid for tee shots, and yet managed to secure second place with 38 points. A further point adrift in third place with 37 points was Salem Dasmal.

The best gross score of the day, a one-under par 71, was by Max Burrow, who made birdies on 10th, 11th and 13th holes.

Cool Cole cruises to win in DG Summer Series
Robson and Smith just unstoppable at SGSC

The scratch partnership of Mike Robson and Adam Smith have claim top spot again in the BMW Members and Guest Social after taking the title for the third time in June.

The excellent partnership went through the front nine with one eagle on the sixth followed by five other birdies to give the duo a Betterball score of seven-under. The Texas Scramble back nine saw the English pair add another birdie and net eagle to sign off for 61.9.

The nearest pair to them was SGSC members Sinar Suraj and Director of Golf Martin Duff on 65.8 in the afternoon.

Cool Cole cruises to win in DG Summer Series

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Roelofsz eyes back-to-back MENA Tour titles

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On a high: Bryandrew Roelofsz.

Brimming with the confidence that come with a victory, Bryandrew Roelofsz will be hoping to keep the momentum going when he tees it up at the Jo’burg City Masters Monday and win a second consecutive MENA Golf Tour title.

The 24-year-old led from start to finish to complete an impressive one-shot victory at the South to East Challenge, the first of a three-event MENA Golf Tour events in South Africa, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Big Easy Tour.

The tournament saw home players sweep the first five places, showcasing a strong pedigree of golf in South Africa and they will be keen to replicate the performance at Glendower Club in Johannesburg.

Despite his soaring confidence, Roelofsz preferred to stay grounded and is simply hoping to play well this week.

The Big Easy Tour’s Order of Merit leader said: “I’m looking forward to the Jo’burg City Masters. Last week’s win was a big boost for me. I’m just trying to get my life in order as I had been out for about two months. It seems to be coming right and you can see that through my golf.”

The in-form South African will be up against a talented field featuring six previous winners on the MENA Golf Tour in addition to a number of potential champions.

Hoping to set the record straight will be Thriston Lawrence who started the final round last weekjust one off the pace, but a closing 73 saw him slip to tied seventh.

The winner of the 2015 MENA Golf Tour Order of Merit title, Lawrence will need a strong performance this week to breathe new life into his season.

Other notables in the field includes England’s Lee Corfield, a four-time winner on the Tour, Chile’s Antonio Costa, Paul Doherty of Scotland and Scott Campbell, the winner of the 2015 MENA Tour Championship.

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Thirston Lawrence stays in contention in Centurion

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Going strong: Thirston Lawrence.

Thriston Lawrence kept himself in the hunt for a second MENA Golf Tour victory when he fired a neat five-under par 66 to lie just one shot off the pace going into the final round of the South to East Challenge at Zwartkop Golf Club in Centurion on Wednesday.

The 2015 MENA Tour Order of Merit winner, three behind at the start of the day, began strongly with a birdie on the first and did not take his foot off the pedal all day as he joined his fellow South African Bryce Easton in a tie for second on eight-under par.

Overnight co-leader Bryandrew Roelofsz of South Africa backed up his opening 65 with a 68 to stay atop the summit of a congested leaderboard on nine-under-par in this first MENA Golf Tour event in South Africa, which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Big Easy Tour.

England’s Haydn McCullen, who shared the opening day’s honours with Roelofsz, settled for a 73, slipping to tied ninth on four-under, three shots behind the South African trio of Greg Bentley, Siphiwe Siphayi and CJ du Plessis who were tied fourth on seven-under.

Lawrence, winner of 2015 Ras Al Khaimah Classic, said: “Winning here would mean a lot as I have missed three events on the MENA Tour this season. I was well placed on the Order of Merit in the beginning – so a win will obviously be nice and get me back on track.”

An early morning start tested players at a cold Zwartkop course, but Lawrence adapted well, making six birdies against just one bogey.

“I started off nicely with a birdie and that helped. After that it was just solid play hitting greens in regulation,” said the 19-year-old.

“In the mornings you have to stay patient. You know the grass is really wet and the greens are tricky. If you shortside yourself, you’re not going to have a good chance of making an up and down. You have to plan your game correctly around here and hit the ball in the right spots.”

Roelofsz’s one-stroke lead came thanks to a gutsy birdie from a difficult lie in a bunker on the par-four ninth hole — his last hole of the day.

“Finishing with a birdie is always nice – especially from where I was. I was quite fortunate to pull it off. Luckily it worked out for me and it was a good finish. I’m happy with the 68,” said Roelofsz.

Elsewhere, Chile’s Antonio Costa, fresh off his win at the Maha-Samutr Masters in Thailand last month, carded a 69 to share 18th on two-under, one ahead of a group which included MENA Golf Tour regulars Aaron Leitmannstetter, Luke Joy and Lee Corfield.

The cut was made at one over 143 with 56 players making into the final round.

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