Golf: Triple delight for Burrow
It was triple delight for UAE-based golfer, Max Burrow, as he not only clinched a spot in the prestigious European Tour’s Oman Open 2019 with a title-victory in the 2019 OHI Oman Amateur Open but also earned crucial World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points.
The treble for the Englishman followed his 10-8 win over Qatar-based Mikkel Mathiesen of Denmark in the 36-hole final at the Ghala Golf Club recently. The WAGR points were introduced for the first time by the Oman Golf Committee (OGC) in a domestic tournament.
“This event was arguably one of the biggest of my season and having missed out in the playoff last year, I was keen to come back,” said a delighted Burrow.
“Obviously it’s great to have gone one better this year and I’m very much looking forward to playing in the European Tour event at the end of February.”
The four-day event had started with a 36-hole strokeplay qualifier with a large field of 108 golfers, including 30 from neighbouring countries, competing for one of eight matchplay spots.
And in a sign of growing strength of domestic golf, four Oman residents made it to the last-eight stage - national team player Azaan al Rumhi, along with Jeff Campbell, Tenzin Tsarong, and Ahmad Ejaaz
In the 18-hole quarterfinals, Burrow beat Ejaaz 2&1, Abdullah al Qubaisi of UAE defeated Tsarong at the first extra hole, Mathiesen beat Jakub Hinda on the 18th and Campbell edged past Azaan 3&2 in a thriller.
Burrow dominated the semifinal against Qubaisi 5&4 while Mathiesen held his nerve to beat Campbell in playoff on the third hole.
Mundhir al Barwani, the OGC chief, said, “Two weeks ago we celebrated ten years as a committee and this has been our flagship event. We are really lucky to have the support from OHI to nurture this tournament year on year. With four Oman residents in the last-eight, I think it’s very clear to see the growth of the game is on an upward spiral since we welcomed a European Tour event to our beautiful country last year.”
Maqbool al Saleh, the OHI chairman, said, “We are proud to be part of Oman’s premier amateur golf tournament. Ghala Golf Club was stunning setting for this event and we will continue to work with the Oman Golf Committee to improve golf in Oman.”
The other winners: U18: Mohammed al Aathem (Bahrain Golf Club); U15: Aarnav Nath (Dubai Creek Golf Club); U12: Adam al Barwani (Ghala Golf Club); Women’s winner: Lynn Casey (Al Mouj Golf).