Al Ain: Lee Corfield birdied the first extra hole in a play-off to win the Mena Golf Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club on Wednesday.
Five shots behind overnight leader Faycal Serghini, Corfield closed with a 67 to reach an 11-under-par total of 202, while the Moroccan settled for a one-over 72, resulting in a play-off.
Corfield hit the green in two on the first extra hole and calmly two-putted for a birdie, while Serghini left his chip from the fairway too short and could only manage a par.
The experienced Moroccan, who, at one stage moved to 14-under, had a chance to settle the issue in regulation, but missed a five-footer for a birdie on the closing hole.
Serghini’s countryman Mustapha Al Maouas claimed the Order of Merit title for amateurs ahead of James Allan of England and Michael Harradine of Switzerland.
Corfield’s win was his second on the tour after the Qatar Classic, which he took with an eagle on the closing hole. “You have got to believe in yourself that you can do it,” he said after receiving the winner’s trophy from Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
Corfield received a cheque for $13,500 (Dh49,577), taking his total earnings from the tour to $25,821, leaving him third on the Order of Merit for professionals behind England’s Zane Scotland ($50,229) and Stephen Dodd of Wales ($32,213).
The top three professionals and the leading amateur will be invited to compete in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which celebrates its 25th anniversary early next year.
“Even though I was five behind going into the final round, I never gave up hope,” Corfield said. “I have been playing really well and I was never in big trouble during the week, which made the task easier.
“The Mena Tour is going to be very big in the coming year. The structure is great and the organisation just fantastic.”
Al Maouas became the second Moroccan after Ahmad Marjan to win the Order of Merit title for amateurs.
“I am really pleased with my performance. I am looking forward to playing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which is one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour,” he said.
Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF), Khalfan Al Kaabi, EGF board member, Mohammad Juma Bu Amim, chairman of the Mena Golf Tour, and Saeed Al Aryani, of Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, were also at the presentation.
Leading final scores (par-71):
202 – Lee Corfield (England) 65 70 67 (wins in a playoff), Faycal Serghini (Morocco) 65 65 72
203 – Yasin Ali (England) 67 70 66, Matthew Turner (England) 67 66 70
204 - Joshua White (England) 70 68 66, Stephen Dodd (Wales) 71 68 65, Tyler Hogarty (South Africa) 69 67 68,,
205 - Christopher Cannon (England) 68 70 67, Ian Keenan (England) 67 67 71, Nicholas Mullhaupt (Switzerland)
206 - Sergio Gutierrez Sanchez (Spain) 69 69 68, Daniel Wardrop (England) 71 68 67, Trevor Marshall (New Zealand) 69 72 65
207 - Clarke Lutton (Scotland) 73 68 66, Tom Buchanan (Scotland) 69 67 71, Hamza Amin (Pakistan) 71 70 66,
209 – James Housby (England) 69 70 70, Younes El Hassani (Morcco) 69 70 70
203 – James Allan (England) 67 66 70
204 - Michael Harradine (Switzerland) 67 67 70
211 - Mustapha El Maouas (Morocco) 72 70 69
214 – Ahmed Marjan (Morocco) 65 76 73, James Yeomans (Morocco) 68 77 69
Final Order of Merit standings:
1. Zane Scotland (England) $50,229
2. Stephen Dodd (Wales) $32,213
3. Lee Corfield (England) $25,821
1. Mustapha El Maouas (Morocco) 251pts
2. James Allan (England) 232
3. Michael Harradine (Switzerland) 220