Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Dubai Creek Open won by Scottish boys' stroke-play champion

Scottish boys champion Thomas (16) wins 

Dubai Creek Open after play-off

     Rayhan Thomas with the Dubai Creek Open and officials at the presentation ceremony.

DUBAI — Scottish boys' open stroke-play champion Rayhan Thomas from India created a piece of golfing history today when the Dubai-based teeanger became the first amateur to win a MENA Tour event when he claimed the Dubai Creek Open after a play-off.

Starting the day tied for the lead with England pro Jake Shepherd on 10-under, Thomas closed with a 69 to reach 12-under 201 for the tournament, forcing a play-off with England’s Luke Joy, who returned a brilliant five-under 66 for  201 aggregate.

Thomas bogeyed the first extra hole, the 18th,  but that was good enough to win as Joy had  a double bogey after hitting his approach from a bunker into the water

“I am really delighted with my efforts. Winning the Tour's 50th event and on my home course too made it special,” said Thomas after receiving the winner’s trophy from Adel Zarouni, vice chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation.

Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf, and Patrick Morrow, the club captain, were also present at the presentation ceremony. 
Thomas, who finished runner-up to Shepherd last year, insisted taking a relaxed attitude into the final round worked wonders. “I was pretty calm out there and focused on one shot at a time.

“The only anxious moment I had was at the 18th when my approach shot the rocks, nearly ending up in the water, but I managed to save par to get into the play-off,” he said.

“Overall, I played steady golf and holed some nice putts, including one for birdie on the 15th from about 12 feet. It feels nice to get the job the done this time around,” said the 16-year-old prodigy, who hails from the southern Indian state of Kerala.

England’s Joy, placed third overnight at seven-under, staged a compelling fightback, but a wayward drive on the first extra hole that landed in a bunker cost him the title.

“The lie was pretty bad. I had just five per cent chance of getting over the water. I couldn’t,” said Joy, who won the Dubai Creek Open in 2014.

Playing in his very first Middle East North Africa Tour event, Australia’s Ben Eccles made his presence felt by equalling the course record of eight-under-par 63.
Clarke Lutton from Aberdeen and Dunbar's Daniel Kay, the only Scots to make it through to the final round, finished tied 10th and 19th respectively. Lutton shot 71-71-67 for 209 and Kay scored 67, 75 and 73 for 215.

 Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Dubai, UAE
Par 213 (3x71)
201 Rayhan Thomas (India) (am) 65 67 69, Luke Joy (Eng) 66 69 66. Thomas won sudden-death play-off.
203 Ben Eccles (Aust) 73 67 63
205 Craig Hinton (Eng) 71 67 67, Fredrik From (Swe) 68 69 68
205 Zane Scotland (Eng) 66 71 69, Jake Shepherd (Eng) 64 68 74, Stuart Archibald (Eng) 69 68 69.

209 Clarke Lutton 71 71 67 (T10)
215 Daniel Kay 67 75 73 (T29)





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