MUSCAT, Oct 22 — The script unfolded on expected lines on as Zane Scotland comfortably kept up his dominance to chalk up an impressive three-shot shot victory in the MENA Golf Tour’s Ghala Valley Open on Wednesday.
Starting the day a good four shots ahead, the 32-year-old Englishman closed with a four-under 68 to move to 11 under to leave his opponents trailing in his wake. Spain’s Carlos Balmaseda matched the day’s best score of a 67 to finish runner-up on eight under, two shots ahead of Morocco’s FaycalSerghini and three of England’s Christopher Cannon.
The day belonged to Scotland, who made a bogey-birdie-bogey start, but had things pretty much on control thereafter as he played the final 15 holes five under to seal his seventh victory on the MENA Golf Tour.
“It feels great to win again on the tour. I played really well on all three days,” said Scotland after receiving the winner’s trophy and a cheque for $9,000 from Ibrahim Al Wahaibi, vice president of Ghala Valley Golf Club. Ziyad Al Zubair, a board member of the club, and Mohamed JumaBuamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, were also present.
“I had an up-and-down start, but things started falling in place as the round wore on. When I got to 10-under on the 12th, I knew the victory was in sight if I didn’t make any major mistake. Again, I had a good finish which was good.
“I think back nine had been pretty good to me,” said Scotland, who never dropped a shot coming home. In fact, he made 10 of his 18 birdies during the three-day event on the back nine.
“The (MENA) Golf Tour has grown dramatically over the years. There are many good players out there who can win on their day. There is a bit more buzz about the tour. I think every one knows what the tour is all about, it kind of has established itself in a short span of time,” he added.
Spain’s Balmaseda also came alive on the back nine with two birdies and an eagle, but his late rally was not good catch to the runaway leader. “I think Zane really played well and deserved to win,” he said.
Morocco’s Serghini, who finished fourth last year here, carded a final round 69 to take solo third, a creditable performance which also won him the MENA Division for the ShaikhMaktoum Golf Foundation Award, ahead of compatriots Ahmed Marjane and Amin Joudar.
England’s James Yeomans and Scotland’s Daniel Kay shared the honours in the amateur division, both finishing on two under while the Moroccan duo of Karim El Hali and AyoubLguirati jointly topped the MENA division in the same category.