Dubai: Teenager Rayhan Thomas continued his red-hot form as he carded a flawless five-under 67 to join Englishman Craig Hinton and Shahid Javed of Pakistan on top of the leaderboard on the opening day of the Mena Golf Tour’s Golf Citizen Classic at the Els Club on Monday.
Thomas and Javed went bogey free while Hinton countered an early bogey on the second with three birdies in a row and then picked up three more shots as the trio moved one clear at the top.
Morocco’s Ahmad Marjan, Spain’s Carlos Balmaseda, Luke Joy of England, Per Barth of Sweden and rising Scottish star Daniel Hendry were tightly grouped in the chasing pack one shot adrfit.
Defending champion Clarke Lutton was in a four-man group a further shot back on three-under 69 alongside Wira Salleh of Brunei, Scott Campbell of England and Alex Messiqua of Switzerland as 26 broke par on day one.
Marjan is leading the Mena Division by four shots ahead of fellow Moroccan Faycal Serghini, while the Saudi Arabian duo of Othman Al Mullah and Khalid Attieh shot matching level par 72s to share the lead in the region’s amateur division, one ahead of Bahrain’s Sam Hobday.
Among other notables, Dominic Foos of Germany returned one-under 71 while Zane Scotland, an 11-time winner on the MENA Golf Tour, settled for level-par.