Golf - James Nash
First round leader James Nash plays his approach shot on the par-four 14th hole on the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club in 2022 Emirates Amateur Open on Friday. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: James Nash (Ormskirk GC, England) shot a three-under par 69 to lead after first round of the 36-hole Emirates Amateur Open at Emirates Golf Club on Friday.

Round one was played over the Faldo Course where Nash managed a front nine of 35 with one birdie on hole five and the rest all pars, and three birdies on the back nine and a solitary bogey in hole 11. This tournament is part of the 2021 – 2022 Men’s Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) Order of Merit sanctioned by the EGF and will conclude on Saturday over the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club.

Nash has a one-stroke lead over home club member Hugo Garcia (EGC) who started off with a double bogey six on the opening hole.

Garcia’s round improved immediately and impressively with birdies on holes 3, 4 and 5. The highlight of the round came on the Par 3, 150 yard, 12th hole where Garcia made a hole in one.

Another birdie followed on hole 15, but bogeys on holes 16 and 18 prevented Garcia having the overnight lead.

Likewise, Monty Scowsill (Woodbridge GC, England) stood five-under the card on the 16th tee but a bogey, bogey, double bogey finish meant he handed in a 71 that could have been so much lower. The leading net score was by Keith Crowley (Scr, Fota Island GC, Ireland) with a net 72.

The Faldo Course was set up at a 6638 yardage, par 72 with 103 players submitting their scorecards.

The second round over the Majlis Course has been reduced to 16 holes, following the vandalism to the greens on holes 15 and 17.

16-hole affair

Barney Coleman, Club Manager, said: ‘‘The Tournament Committee has decided to take these two greens and two holes out of play for tomorrow’s second round. The damage took place last Friday night and Saturday morning. We are hopeful, with some growth and reparation work, that the greens will be near 100% tournament ready by the time of the Dubai Desert Classic which begins in 13 days. We apologise to all competitors in the Emirates Amateur Open, but sadly, nature is outside of our control on this occasion.’

Saturday’ round will be played from the Blue Tee yardage at 6896 yards minus holes 15 and 17. The first group will tee off at 6.50 am with play again in fourballs.

The draw for tomorrow’s second round sees the leaders out last at 12 noon. The final group are the leaders: Nash, Garcia, Scowsill and Crowley.

The winner of the Emirates Amateur Open will be presented on Saturday at the Prize Presentation with an Amateur Invite to play in DP World Tour’s Ras Al Khaimah Championship, presented by Phoenix Capital and to be held at Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, from February 3-6, 2022.

Leading First Round Scores (Par 72)

J. Nash (Eng) 69, H. Garcia (EGC) 70, M. Scowsill (Eng) 71, K. Crowley (Ire) 72, M. Burrow (DCGYC) 73, D. Byrne (TEC) 74, M. Mezei (TEC) 74, M. Mirza (DCGYC) 75, O. Mukherjee (AHGC) 75, V. Pal (EGC) 76, A. Arghandiwal (EGC) 76, T. Bishop (TEC) 76.