Wednesday, November 06, 2013


MUSCAT – Monaco's Sandro Piaget staged a dramatic comeback to win the MENA Golf Tour's Ghala Valley Open in Oman today.
Five shots off the pace overnight, Piaget birdied the second hole of a playoff to beat Joshua White of England after the two players finished regulation at nine-under par 207 at the picturesque course.
Joshua, four ahead going into the final round, led the field most of the day, but squandered the advantage on the closing hole when he three-putted for a bogey while Piaget calmly rolled in his birdie putt to extend the play.
Both parred the first extra hole with little fluster. They hit the green in regulation on the second where White narrowly missed his birdie putt while made no mistake in holing the winning putt from 20 feet.
"It's my first time to the Middle East and feels great to win this event which is pretty much my last competitive tournament of this season," said the 26-year-old after receiving the winner's trophy from HE Dr Mohammed bin Hamed Al Rumhy, Omani Minister of Oil and Gas.
"I made a good start with an eagle on the third which was followed by a birdie on the next. But made a clumsy double-bogey on the sixth. In fact, I dropped four shots in a four-hole stretch starting from the sixth, but finished strongly on the back nine where I made five birdies without dropping a shot," said Piaget who closed with a 68.
"I played four events on the (MENA) Tour this season and really enjoyed my stay here. I look forward to coming back next year," said Brazil-bornPiaget, who turned pro about six years back.
England's White, who led in the first two rounds, was obviously disappointed not to get the job done. "I hit a lot of good shots and also bad shots. I will try and not think about bad ones. The thinking is to learn from the mistakes," said 22-year-old from London, who a shot final round 73.
It was Germany's Bernhard Neumann who made the biggest move on the final, firing a course record-matching 65 to jump to solo third on eight-under 208.
"It was my last competitive round of the year and I wanted to enjoy it thoroughly and I did. I hit 17 greens and that helped.  Making most of the greens and solid putting was the key to my bogey-free round today," said Neumann.
The Moroccan contingent had a lot to cheer about with Faycal Serghini finishing alone in fourth on a six-under 210 while Ahmed-Reda Rhazali took a share of the ninth on three-under 213.
Kenya's Snow also kept the things interesting with a final round 67. "It was pretty windy out there, but I hung in there really well and finished strongly with birdie, eagle and birdie in a three-hole stretch from the 15th.
Michael Harradine, a Dubai-based Swiss national, and England's James Allan jointly topped the amateur division on a three-over 219, one shot ahead of Ross Hopwood of England.

SCOTSWATCH: Clarke Lutton, 25-year-old Dubai-based Scot achieved his highest finish on the MENA Tour with a joint ninth placing on 213 after rounds of 72-70-71.  He had birdies at the third, fifth, sixth and 18th.
Tom Buchanan and Conor O'Neil tied for 20th place on 217, Buchanan with rounds of 73, 73 and 71`, O'Neil with 68, 76 an d73.
Fraser McKenna finished T52 on 217 with rounds of 71, 78 and 78.

Par 216 (3x72)
207 Sandro Piaget (Monaco) 73 66 68, Joshua White (Eng) 65 69 73 (Piaget won sudden-death play-off at second extra hole).
208 Bernhard Neumann (Ger) 74 69 65
210 Faycal Serghini (Mor) 68 72 70
211 Greg Snow (Ken) 76 68 67, Hamza Amin (Pak) 69 71 71
212 Yasin Ali (Eng) 70 72 70, Ian Keenan (Eng) 71 70 71
213 Clarke Lutton (Sco) 72 70 71, Ahmed Reda Rhazali (Morocco) 69 70 74
214 Tyler Hogarty (SAfr) 70 74 70, Roberto Rodriguez Cacho (Mex) 67 71 76

217 Tom Buchanan (Sco) 73 73 71, Conor O'Neil (Sco) 68 76 73 (T20).
219 Michael Harradine (Switzerland) (am) 69 72 78, James Allan (Eng) (am) 74 72 73
220 Ross Hopwood (England) (am) 75 70 75
227 Fraser McKenna (Sco) 71 78 78 (T52)



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