Wednesday, October 23, 2013


By viren.varma

ABU DHABI, Oct 23 – Stephen Dodd dug deep into the wealth of his experience to win the MENA Golf Tour's Abu Dhabi GOLF CITIZEN Open at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on Wednesday.
Three behind overnight, the Welsh ace closed with a two-under 70 to reach six-under, edging the English duo of Craig Hinton and Stuart Archibald by one shot for his second title on the tour this season.
Tied for the lead with Hinton going into the final hole, Dodd two putted for a par after drilling his 7-iron approach from 172 yards to within 30 inches of the pin while Hinton, who led the field in the first rounds, caught his chip thin from greenside rough and settled for a bogey.
"It feels nice to get back to the winning ways. I played really this week and hit a lots good shots on this long course," said the 47-year-old Welshman after receiving the winner's trophy and a cheque for $9,000 from Khalid Mubarak Al Shamshi, secretary-general of the Emirates Golf Federation.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, and Paul Booth, Director of Club Operations at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, were also present.
James Allan of England emerged the best amateur of the tournament on three-over 219, two shots ahead of Switzerland's Michael Harradine and three of Morocco's Mustapha El Maouas.
Three birdies in four holes from the 10th put Dodd in front, but he lost the advantage with a bogey on the 16th. The prospects of a playoff loomed as the Welshman and Hinton headed to the final hole tied at six-under.
In the end, experience, composure and savvy won title for Dodd, already a three-time winner on the European Tour.
"I thought Craig played well after shaky start," said Dodd. "I wasn't playing all that good as I should have in the previous tournaments, but this week things fell in place," said the Welshman.
Hinton felt a two-shot swing at the 10th made things a bit difficult. "But I was never out of the hunt until the closing hole. Stephen is vastly experience and played really good golf," added the 25-year-old Englishman who has made it to the second stage of the European Tour.
New Zealand's Trevor Marshall finished alone on fourth on four-under 212, one clear of Scotland's Tom Buchanan who claimed solo fifth on a two-under 214.

Buchanan, who now lives and works as a pro golfer in the Middle East, had birdies at two par-5 holes, the ninth and 11th and a solitary bogey, at the first, in his closing round of one-under-par 71 (36-35).
David Law, achieve his third top six finish in as many tournaments on the MENA Tour when he signed off with a 69 after earlier scores of 76 and 71 for level par 216. The 22-year-old Aberdonian finished runner-up to England's Zane Scotland in each of the past two weeks.
Scotland finished T10 in this latest tournament, one shot behind Law who birded three par-5 holes, the ninth, 11th and 15th, and also birdied the 10th and short 17th (a 2 for the second day in a row) for havles of 36-33.
Said Law later: "That was better today. I kept my mistakes to a minimum which helped me build a good score. Happy to climb into the top 10 and have a good finish to the trip."
David flies back to Aberdeen tonight to prepare for next week's Stage 2 of the European Tour Q School in Spain. 
Clarke Lutton, who was the leading Scot going into the final round, blew up with a last effort of 77 to finish T14 on 217, the same score as rookie pro Conor O'Neil (Pollok) who saved his best, a 69, until last after opening rounds of 74.
Fraser McKenna (Balmore), also a rookie of only a few weeks standing, started well with a 73 but his form deteriorated each day for scores of 76 and 81 for 230 and a T58 finish. All part of the learning curve of being a tour pro, Fraser.
England's Lee Corfield made the biggest move on the final day, firing a sizzling 67 – the tournament's best score – to jump to one-over 217 and into a tie for 14th.
Par 288 (4x72)
210 Stephen Dodd (Wal) 72 68 70
211 Craig Hinton (Eng) 68 69 74, Stuart Archibald (Eng) 69 72 70
212 Trever Marshall (NZ) 71 72 69
214 Tom Buchanan (Sco) 75 68 71
215 Dale Marmion (Eng) 74 73 68, David Law (Sco) 75 71 69,
Christopher Cannon (Eng) 71 72 72, Jürgen Maurer (Aut) 72 74 69

216 Zane Scotland (Eng) 76 71 69 (T10)
217 Clarke Lutton (Sco) 71 69 77, Conor O'Neil (Sco) 74 74 69 (T14).
229 Ted Innes Ker (Sco) 78 72 789 (T55)
230 Fraser McKenna (Sco) 73 76 81 (T58).
219 - James Allan (Eng) 74 72 73
221 - Michael Harradine (Swi) 76 74 71
222 - Mustapha El Maouas (Morocco) 76 71 75

MISSED THE CUT (151 and better qualified)
155 Greg Nicolson (Sco) 80 75



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