11 MENA Tour players excel in Dubai

Fri 19 Dec 2014

11 MENA Tour players excel in Dubai

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Dubai, December 19: England’s Joshua White brilliantly led 10 other MENA Tour members, including two Arab players, into the final two rounds of the inaugural Dubai Open on Friday, signaling the rise of the burgeoning circuit aimed at developing golf in the Middle East and North Africa region.
White, the reigning MENA Tour champion, fired a superb four-under-par 68 to follow his opening 71 where his five-under total of 139 left him two strokes behind co-leaders Shiv Kapur of India and Pavit  Tangkamolprasert of Thailand at the Els Club Dubai.
Moroccan amateur Mehdi Saissi shot a 70 to make the cut right on the mark of 145 while countryman Younes El Hassani was one better in tied 46th position following a 74.
The MENA Golf Tour players had a glint in their eyes as they made tremendous gains with 11 out of 24 players making it to the weekend.
White was delighted with the success of the MENA Golf Tour players in what is the final tournament of the season on the Asian Tour.
"To be honest I am not really surprised to see so many MENA Golf Tour players doing well. They are all very good players, even the amateurs that play on the tour are very good. As you can tell from here, there's not that much difference,” said White.
“But it's really good to see, and a lot of the Arab players going through as well. The game is progressing in the region, which is really good. So no, I'm not too surprised.”
El Hassani showed tremendous fighting qualities as he played through severe lower back pain to card a 74. "After nine holes, I thought of quitting, but I kept pushing myself and it worked,” he said.
"Now that the pressure of making the cut is off I can go all out for a top 10 or top 20 over the weekend, I just hope my back holds up. Whatever the result, the experience of playing in my first Asian Tour event is something which will benefit me in the future.”
The other MENA Golf Tour players who made the cut were Luke Joy, Zane Scotland, Lee Corfield, Matt Fitzpatrick, Chris Cannon, Stuart Archibald (all England), Carlos Balmaseda (Spain)and Tyler Hogarty (South Africa).