Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Aberdeen's Clarke Lutton moves up to share 

of fourth place at Muscat, Open

MUSCAT, Oman — Extremely accurate off the tee and clinical with his putter, Ahmed Marjan shot a career-best seven-under 65 to join Fernand Osther atop the leaderboard going into Wednesday's final round of the MENA Golf Tour’s Ghala Open

The talented Moroccan reeled off eight birdies against a lone bogey while Netherlands’ Osther showed great mental resilience, picking up five shots on the back nine after making the turn at two over en route to a 69.
On nine under, the duo edged two shots clear of Younes El Hassani of Morocco and three of a four-man group that included Aberdeen-born Clarke Lutton, Craig Hinton of England, Fredrik From of Sweden and South Africa’s Luke Trocado.
It was Marjan, who lit up the proceedings with a sparkling round that also set a new course record at Ghala Golf Club. 
“I didn’t miss anything out there. Everything was rock solid and everything was good. I drove the ball well, my iron play was spot on and I holed some solid putts,” said Marjan, who needed just 24 putts to complete his second round.
“The good thing is that I have regained confidence in my driver which wasn’t the case recently. So, very pleased to get some momentum going this week.
“Going forward the plan is to keep things simple and see where that leave me come Wednesday,” said Marjan, who created history in 2014, becoming the first golfer from the MENA region to win a tour event, a feat he achieved at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic. 
Starting the day two in front, Osther responded to an early bogey with a birdie on the second, but dropped further shots on fourth and eighth to turn in 38. The back nine was vintage Osther, who kept it clean, making five birdies to firmly stay in contention for a maiden title on the MENA Golf Tour.
Morocco’s El Hassani also kept himself in the frame, going bogey-free in his five-under 67. “I am feeling good about my game. Struck the ball really well and created several scoring opportunities with my wedges.
 “I am not thinking too much about the final round. Will try and focus on each shot as it comes and see what happens,” said El Hassani, who is seeking first win on the MENA Golf Tour.
The English duo of Benjamin David and Todd Clements carded matching 69s to share the lead in the amateur division on four under, one ahead of Chile’s Matias Calderon who returned a second-round 73.
 England’s Joe Heraty, who won the Sahara Kuwait Championship last week, missed the cut by one shot after carding a 78 that included a quadruple bogey on the 11th while defending champion Lee Corfield left himself with a mountain to climb, finishing the day seven shots off the pace.
The cut was made at three-over par 147 with 50 professionals and 10 amateurs making it to the final round.

Par 144 (2x72)
135 A Marjan (Mor) 70 65, F Osther (Ned) 66 69
137 Y El Hassani (Mor) 70 67
138 C Lutton (Sco) 70 68, C Hinton (Eng) 70 68, F From (Swe) 72 66, L Trocado (SAf) 68 70

140 J McDonald 70 70 (T9)
143 J Doherty 75 68 (T23)
147 P Doherty 74 73 (T50)



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