Monday, November 09, 2015

MENA Tour season-ending championship report of Day 1

Cyril Suk sets pace with career-best 63 at Al Ain

From Viren Varma
AL AIN, UAE — Cyril Suk shot a career-best eight-under 63 to set the early pace in windy conditions at the MENA Golf Tour’s season-ending championship at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club today.

The 23-year-old from Prague picked up five shots on the front nine and three coming home in a flawless round, taking a two-shot lead over Scott Campbell, his playing partner, and Craig Hinton, both of England.

Lurking a further shot adrift at five under in solo fourth was another Englishman, Stuart Archibald, who reeled off five birdies and an eagle, but a double-bogey on the ninth prevented him from joining Suk at the top of the leaderboard. 

It was Suk who set a blistering pace, going bogey-free. “You can’t be angry after shooting eight-under. I hit my irons and wedges close to the pin and holed many good putts out there which was the key,” said Suk, the winner of the Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open last year.

“I think I need to be a bit straighter off the tee if I were to continue with the same momentum. Overall, very pleased with my game. The greens are quite big here and one needs to be quite precise with approaches,” said Suk, who fell short of matching the course record by one shot. 

England’s Campbell was equally pleased with his efforts. “Played pretty good, solid golf, especially on the front nine where I sank many long putts,” said the 24-year-old from Sheffield, who was six under after his first 10 holes.

“I think, I hit only one bad shot all day when I drove into the water on the 14th for the lone bogey on my card. Barring that blemish, my game was pretty much on cruise control,” said the Englishman whose career-best round being a 10-under he shot at his home club a while ago. 

Bolstered by an eagle on the 18th, England’s James Allan took control of the proceedings in the amateur division, opening with a four-under 67, a good five shots ahead of his nearest challenger Rayhan Thomas of India.

“I managed to control the ball well in windy conditions, which helped a lot. I got off to a nice start with two birdies in the first three holes. I may have bogeyed a couple of holes as the round wore on, but managed to finish strongly,” said Allan, who smashed his three-iron from 230 yards to within 20 feet and holed the ensuing putt for an eagle. 

England’s Hinton mixed seven birdies with a bogey (on the seventh) to keep alive his hopes of winning his maiden title on the MENA Golf Tour. 

Morocco’s Younes Al Hassani overcame an early bogey on the third to card a two-under 69 for a one-shot lead over his compatriots Ahmed Marjan and Faycal Serghini in the MENA Division.
Elsewhere, England’s Zane Scotland, a nine-time winner on the MENA Golf Tour, returned a level-par 71 while Thriston Lawrence of South Africa, who currently leads the Order of Merit race, posted a 70 after making the run at three-under.

par 71
63 C Suk (Cze)
65 C Hinton (Eng), S Campbell (Eng)
66 S Archibald (Eng).

68 C Lutton (T7)
70 P Doherty, B Alexander (am) (T15)
71 D Kay (T13)





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