Wednesday, October 05, 2011


   Ross Canavan has the "shakes" at the prizegiving ceremony after his victory in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic.

Ross Canavan, a 24-year-old Englishman who turned pro in January this year, scored his first victory today in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic, the second event on the MENA Tour in the United Arab Emirates.
Canavan started the last round of the 54-hole event six shots behind compatriot Jake Shepherd who led the field by five.
Canavan birdied the closing hole to complete his memorable day at the Tower Links Golf Club. He signed off with a three-under-par 69 for a seven-under total of 209.
He won by one stroke from Faycal Serghini. The experienced Moroccan, who led by a one shot with three holes to play, had his chances to seal the victory, but bogeyed the 16th and the 17th. A birdie at the last was too late to repair the damaged.
Jake Shepherd, 21, collapsed under the pressure of being favourite to chalk up his first win in his rookie year as a pro. He closed with a disappointing 77 to finish tied third with compatriot Peter Richardson on five-under-par 211.
With Shepherd dropping shots at regular intervals, it threw the tournament wide open. At one stage just one shot separated the top six, but Canavan held his nerve when it mattered most to clinch the issue in style.
"I thought I needed an eagle to wrap up the victory and that's the reason I took time to read the putt (on the 18th). I read it right, but missed it by a whisker and tapped in for birdie. This is my first tournament win as a professional and obviously I have every reason to feel great," said the Englishman after receiving the trophy and the winner's cheque for $9,000 from Shaikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone.
Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Arab Golf Federation, and Mohamed Juma Buamaim, Chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, were also present at the presentation ceremony.
Canavan admitted it was a grind all day, "but I still managed to hit all greens on the back nine, like I did in the second round. The putting too was steady. When I made the turn, I was about three to four shots off the pace and knew I had a chance if I can shoot anything under par.
"Things worked out well. I am really pleased with my work on all three days. It's an emotional moment for me," said Canavan.
Heartbreak was the story of the tournament for young Shepherd who blew away a big lead.
"I think tried a bit too hard to focus on my game. It was a tough day and nothing worked for me, absolutely nothing. Maybe it's a learning curve for me. At the moment, however, it's quite painful and I have no words to describe my feelings."
Greg Nicolson from Edinburgh, in only his second week and second tournament as a professional finished on an encouraging note with a one-under-par 71 for a total of 223 and a share of 23rd place.
Craigielaw club pro Jonathan Porteous finished 28th with scores of 75, 73 and 77.
The next event on the MENA Tour is the Shaik Maktoum Dubai Open at Al Badia Golf Course, beginning on Monday.
Morocco's young Ahmed Marjan emerged as the best amateur with rounds of 72, 75 and 71 for a two-over total of 218. Daniel Owen of England was placed second best amateur, a shot back.
Par 216 (3x72)
209 Ross Canavan (England) 73 67 69
210 Faycal Serghini (Morocco) 71 70 60
211 Peter Richardson (England) 72 67 72, Jake Shepherd (England) 67 67 77 212 Lindsay Renolds (Canada) 69 72 71; Matloob Ahmed (Pakistan) 73 67 72
213 Ross Bain (Scotland) 74 71 68, Yasin Ali (England) 72 67 74
214 Simon Dunn (Scotland) 73 73 68, Chris Chamberlain (England) 72 71 71
215 Shahid Ahmed (Pakistan) 70 73 72, Ahmed-Reda Rhazali (Morocco) 67 72 76
Selected totals:
223 Greg Nicolson (Scotland) 77 75 71 (T23)
225 Jonathan Porteous (Scotland) 75 73 77 (28th).



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