Dubai: Craig Forrest won the 12th Shaikh Rashid Trophy after an epic battle on the final day with Louis Campbell, which was finally decided on the fourth play-off hole.
The UK’s Campbell had fallen two shots behind after nine holes at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort on Saturday, but he came back strongly to force the two-man shootout with Jumeirah Golf Estates player Forrest.
Two further goes on the 18th and another down the 17th failed to split the pair, but Forrest got up and down from the bunker to birdie the third attempt at the final hole to seal victory.
After the first two rounds at The Els Club and Al Badia Golf Club, the field was whittled from 78 players down to 30 for Saturday’s final day. The weather conditions were calm over the front nine holes, but increased wind and a few nerves led to some crucial dropped shots on the back nine.
Emirates Golf Federation’s Ryan Riley, who made a great start to the tournament in round one before faltering a bit in round two, pulled his game together again to card a 75 and finish in third place.
Sidney De Souza, also of the EGF, fell back at Jebel Ali after two solid opening rounds and had to be content with a fourth-place finish. Nicola Angelastri, of Emirates Golf Club, playing in his first Shaikh Rashid Trophy, ended the three days in fifth place.
Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels were the Shaikh Rashid Trophy’s main sponsors and their Chief Operating Officer David Thomson and Chairman Salah Saleh handed out the trophies.
Thomson also thanked the support sponsors, Gulf News and Ernst & Young, for their contribution to the success of the tournament.
Khalid Mubarak Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of Emirates Golf Federation, said: “We would like to thank all the players for supporting and participating in this flagship event in the region. The clubs involved provided fantastic venues and their assistance is greatly appreciated. I would like to thank especially James Williams and his team at Jebel Ali Golf Resort for a memorable finale to the tournament.