Oscar Craig and Dominic Morton are tied at the top of the leaderboard after day one of the FirstPoint USA Boy’s Strokeplay event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The 54-hole World Amateur Golf Ranking event is taking place over two days, with the first round having taken place today (Monday), followed by 36-holes tomorrow, once again being played around the National Course.
Both Craig and Morton shot opening rounds of three over par 75 around the former Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship DP World Tour venue.
Craig, stepson of DP World Tour member and European Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, had an opening nine of level par with just one solitary bogey and birdie. His back nine was more eventful consisting of just one par, two birdies on the 10th and 13th, with the rest bogeys. He will be looking for inspiration from his stepdad who has won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship twice around this venue.
Morton also carded a front nine of level par 36. But three bogeys on his back nine on holes 11, 13 and 15 had him signing for 39 coming in around the tough track.
They will be joined in the top group for round two by Alexander Rushika, who plays out of Jumeriah Golf Estates, who had an opening round of five over par 77.
In the Net Division, it is the same trio amongst the top of the leaderboad. Rushika (HCP 4) in first spot after his net 73, while Morton (HCP 1) and Craig (HCP 1) both tied in second place after their net 74’s.
In the Girl’s Strokeplay Division, Thailand’s Zurich Kanokpornvasin who plays out of Saadiyat Beach, holds the lead after a four over par 76. A slender one shot gap from Turkey’s Deniz Sapmaz.
Kanokpornvasin (HCP +3) also leads the Girls Net Division, with South Korean Daul Kim and the UAE’s Faye Mohammed just one shot back from her.
The FirstPoint USA Golf Scholarship Showcase is to asses players who have ambitions to play collegiate golf in the USA, while at the same time outlining all the requirements for candidates both academically and from a golfing perspective.
FirstPoint USA’s golfing alumni includes former Dubai Desert Classic, Masters Champion and DP World Tour Championship Dubai winner Danny Willett (Jacksonville State University) and two-time PGA Tour winner Russell Knox (Jacksonville University), while highly ranked Scottish amateur Ross Laird is one of the company’s current golfing talents about to embark on his sophomore year at Cal Poly University.
The USA college pathway vaulted the likes of Tiger Woods, Rose Zhang (both Stanford University) and Jon Rahm (Arizona State University) to international stardom.