Monday, November 03, 2014


             Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, United Arab Emirates ... this week's venue



AL AIN – It's getting hot at the top as nine players closed out their second rounds between nine and six-under on Monday, heading into Tuesday's final round within shouting distance of the MENA Tour Championship.
Overnight leader Lee Corfield had his three-shot lead shrank to one after he returned a 70, reaching nine-under with fellow Englishmen Joshua White and Jake Shepherd and Mexico’s Juan Salcedo lurking a further shot back.
Shepherd, the winner of this event in 2011, birdied three of the first six holes en route to a second 67 while White overcame two double bogeys to return a 68 and join Salcedo, who carded a 66, at eight-under.
Snapping at the heels of the front-runners are Luke Joy, who currently leads the Order of Merit, on seven-under, one ahead of a four-man group led by Edinburgh's Tom Buchanan, the head pro at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.
“It was a totally different course today with the wind blowing in the opposite direction, but I putted much better than I did on Sunday, which was the key,” said Buchanan, a sentiment echoed by many of his fellow competitors.
The Scot's second-round 65 was the joint lowest of the day. He is joint sixth on 136 - three behind Corfield
Overnight leader Corfield made a great start to his second round, playing the first six holes four-under, thanks to an eagle on the par-5, third, but four bogeys undermined his efforts though he did pick up another shot at the par-4, 14th.
England’s Zane Scotland, who started the week with a good chance of catching Joy on the Order of Merit, will have his work cut after a second round 72 leaves him a good eight shots behind Joy and 10 behind the leader.
England’s James Allan, however, took a firm hold of the Amateur Order of Merit, following his opening one-under 70 with a superb 66 to move to six-under with Switzerland’s Michael Harradine occupying solo second two shots further back.
“The change in wind direction made life a bit easier on some holes, especially on the par 5s. I holed some nice putts coming home which was good,” said Allan, who picked up five shots on the back nine, including four in a row from the 12th.
Morocco’s Ahmed Marjane maintained his dominance in the MENA professional Division, carding a second-round 68 to reach four under, six shots ahead of compatriots Amine Joudar and Faycal Serghini.
The experienced Serghini made a big move up the leaderboard with a 68, eight better than his opening round as Ayoub Lguirati moved atop the leaderboard in the amateur division for the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation Award with rounds of 70 and 72.
As players vie for places in the 2014 Dubai Open and the 2015 Omega Dubai Desert Classic as well as lucrative bonus incentives on the various Orders of Merit, the final day of the 2014 MENA Golf Tour promises to provide many twists as well as the usual mix of celebration and commiseration.

Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Centre, UAE

Par 142 (2x71)
133 Lee Corfield (Eng) 63 70
134 Jake Shepherd (Eng) 67 67, Juan Salcedo (Mex) 68 66, Joshua White (Eng) 66 68
135 Luke Joy (Eng) 68 67
136 Tom Buchanan (Sco) 71 65, Stuart Archibald (Eng) 70 66, James Allan (Eng) (am) 70 66, Toni Ferrer (Spain) 66 70
137 Carlos Balmaseda (Spa) 72 65, Clarke Lutton (Sco) 69 68
138 Ahmed Marjane (Mor) 70 68; Matt Turner (England) 68 70, Xavier Puig (Spain) 69 69; Michael Harradine (Swi) (am) 69 69
139 Christopher Cannon (Eng), Peter Stojanovski (Macedonia) 68 71
141 Danny Kay (Sco) (am) 70 71 (T18)
142 Paul Doherty (Sco) 71 71 (T21)



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