Zane Scotland claims Ras Al Khaimah Classic

Sport360 staff 03:02 05/05/2016
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Champion: Zane Scotland.

Zane Scotland eagled the first extra hole to win the Ras Al Khaimah Classic in a three-way play-off at Tower Links Golf Club on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old from London stuffed his approach shot to within 15 feet and holed the ensuing putt at the par-5 18th to seal his 11th title on the MENA Golf Tour after finishing tied with overnight leader Craig Hinton and Miles Tunnicliff at 10-under par in regulation play.

“I am delighted to win another title on the tour – and winning it in a play-off under pressure makes it extra special,” said Scotland. “It was one of those days when I just couldn’t build any momentum because I wasn’t making any putts.

“It was kind of very boring golf. I knew I had to stay patient and focused on every shot which I tried to do,” added Scotland, who carded a final round 70.

Starting the day one shot in front, Hinton also felt he failed to summon his A Game when it mattered the most.

“Basically, nothing went in and nothing went my way, I just scrambled to hold it together,” said the 27-year-old from Thame. “It’s my fourth runner-up finish on the MENA Golf Tour and this one, in particular, will haunt me as I led from the start to the playoff.

“There is always hope for tomorrow. Hopefully, I will be able to get over the line in some other event on the tour this season. Let’s see how things pan out.”

Tunnicliff, a two-time winner on the European Tour, hit what he called a perfect shot from the bunker on the first extra hole, but it took a hard bounce and landed in the lake.

“Maybe I was a bit unlucky, but I am very pleased with the way I played this week. This is my best finish on the tour, which is good,” added the 47-year-old Englishman, who shot a final round 68 to get into the play-off.

His compatriots, Daniel Owen and Stuart Archibald, shared fourth on nine under, one shot ahead of Spain’s Carlos Balmaseda, who is also a MENA Golf Tour ambassador.

Stephen Dodd, a three-time winner on the European Tour and the 2012 MENA Golf Tour Order of Merit champion, returned a final-round 69 to finish seventh on seven-under as did his playing partner Andrew Marshall, also a European Tour veteran, settled for a share of 10th after carding a 71.

Joe Heraty made the biggest final day charge, firing a bogey-free 66 – the best score of the week – to climb to joint eighth on six under along with fellow Englishman Luke Joy.

Young Rayhan Thomas closed with a level-par 72 to win the amateur division with a creditable score of three-under 213, three clear of Scotland’s Ben Alexander, who returned a brilliant four-under 68 in the final round, as Saudi Arabia’s Othman Almulla settled for third a further shot back.

Rayhan, who opened with a 69 on Monday, reeled off three birdies in his final four holes for his fifth victory in the division since joining the tour in 2013.

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