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Corfield leads after first round in Mohammedia

Englishman five-under par with opening 66, two clear of the pack

Image Credit: Organiser
England’s Lee Corfield shoots a flawless five-under 66 to lead at the Royal Golf D’Anfa Club.
Gulf News

Mohammedia: Lee Corfield shot a flawless five-under 66 to open up a healthy two-shot lead going into the second round of the Mena Tour’s Royal Golf Mohammedia Open at Royal Golf D’Anfa Club on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Englishman picked up four shots in a stunning three-hole stretch from the seventh, including an eagle on the ninth, before birdieing the final hole to move ahead of a three-man group which included South Africa’s Tyler Hogarty.

The winner of the season-ending Mena Tour championship last year, Hogarty responded to an early double bogey on the first with seven birdies in nine holes in the middle of his round before dropping two further shots to finish the day tied for second along with the English duo of Adam Sagar and Jamie Elson.

Rising Dutch amateur Pierre Junior Verlaar lit up the back nine with five birdies in his last six holes after making the turn at three over to lead the amateur division, a further shot adrift on two under.

It was Corfield who took centre-stage with a bogey-free round.

“I played really solid today,” said Corfield, who finished solo third in last week’s Mena Tour season-opener in Casablanca. “I got off to a steady start with six pars in a row and then two birdies and an eagle on the next three holes got my round going.

“It felt nice to finish with a birdie on the 18th. The course is in great shape though it was a bit tricky out there with the wind blowing. I’m really happy with my day’s work,” added the four-time winner on tour.

Elsewhere, Morocco’s Mohammad Belaroussia carded a two-under 69 to lead the Mena Division, one ahead of his compatriots Ahmad Marjan and Mehdi Saissi as Younes El Hassani, the winner of the region’s honours last week, settled for level-par 71.

Coming off the back of three recent European Tour starts this season, leading amateur Rayhan Thomas of India carded three-over 74 while defending champion Zane Scotland of England returned a 71.

Elsewhere, Spain’s Leo Lilja, who won the MENA Tour’s season-opening Casablanca Open last week, signed for a 74 to join seasoned Andrew Marshall of England in a tie for 58th, one ahead of former England cricketer Craig Kieswetter and two clear of Luke Joy on a day when 20 players broke par.