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Scotland leads the way into Mena Tour decider

Englishman clear in Order of Merit standings after second place at Al Badia

Gulf News

Dubai: Zane Scotland consolidated his lead at the top of the Mena Golf Tour’s Order of Merit for Professionals after his runner-up finish in the Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open at Al Badia Golf Club this week.

The Englishman, starting the final round four shots off the pace, closed with a tidy 68 to go nine under for the 54-hole tournament, finishing joint second with compatriot Martin LeMesurier, two shots behind winner Stephen Dodd of Wales.

With this tied second-place finish, which carried a cash prize of $5,000 [Dh18,360], Scotland has taken his earnings from five events to $21,803, more than $3,000 ahead of Dodd, who has now jumped to second in the standings.

Scotland, who won the tour’s opening event at Dubai Creek, will be hoping to extend his good run of form at the next week’s Tour Championship, which will see the top 40 professionals and the leading 15 amateurs from their respective Orders of Merit battle it out for honours at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.

Season-ending event

The leading players who have played a minimum of three events this season are eligible to compete in the season-ending event, which carries a total prize fund of $75,000. That means England’s Ross McGowan, who is currently fourth in the Order of Merit, will not make it to the Tour Championship as he has played only two events.

Pakistan’s Mohammad Munir, who settled for tied fourth at Al Badia, is third in the standings with $16,276 from five events, while his compatriot Shafiq Masih is fifth.

England’s Max Williams has brightened his chance of winning the Order of Merit for Amateurs after a strong top-10 finish in the Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open. He leads the standings with 136 points, just ahead of Switzerland’s Michael Harradine (122) and England’s Tyler Hogarty (117).

The top three professionals and the leading amateur will receive special invitations to compete in the 2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club between January 28 and February 3.