Abu Dhabi: James Allan, twice Amateur Order of Merit champion on the Mena Tour, finally secured a dream title with a crushing five-shot win in the Abu Dhabi Open.
At Yas Links Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Allan backed his previous rounds of 66 and 67 with a second six-under par 66 effort of the week to tally 17-under 199. Wednesday’s round included a sensational run of four straight birdies after the turn, which made it a much easier walk down the tough closing stretch.
Sweden’s Niclas Weiland, a Mena Tour debutant, showed remarkable composure playing in the final group with Allan to shoot a five-under par 67, which earned him tied-second at 12-under par 204 alongside English duo of Robbie Busher (65) and Harry Ellis (66).
“By far the best birthday week I have ever had,” said Allen, who turned 25 on Monday. “I have worked very hard for this and I owe my success to many people who believed in me, including my coach Ben Barham at the Robert Rock Academy.
“This is a massive confidence boost for me. I have had a couple of good rounds, but I somehow could not maintain it over three or four rounds. This is my best scores for a 54-hole tournament and it now gives me the belief that I can shoot numbers like this.”
Busher was delighted with his 65, especially as he had played very few tournaments in the run-up to the Mena Tour after sitting out for four months in the summer when he dislocated his knee while trying to hit a drive.
“I got off to a great start with a birdie, and then holed out from the bunker for an eagle on the second hole. I then kept hitting the ball well,” said the Englishman.
The next tournament on the Mena Tour schedule is the Al Ain Open by Arena, to be played at the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club from October 19-23.
199 — James Allan (ENG)
204 — Robbie Busher (ENG), Harry Ellis (ENG), Niclas Weiland (SWE)
206 — Benjamin David (ENG)
207 — Josh Hill (ENG), Daniel Owen (ENG), Clemens Prader (AUT)
208 — Tyler Hogarty (ENG), MG Keyser (RSA), Matt Killen (ENG)