Marsh staves off Roussel challenge at Ghala Golf Club

February 28, 2019

Nick Marsh (left) receives the trophy from Ziyad al Zubair, board member of the Ghala Golf Club on Wednesday

England’s Nick Marsh staved off a final-round charge by Robin Roussel to claim the top honours at the MENA Tour event at the Ghala Golf Club on Wednesday.

Marsh's final flourish over the last five holes was enough to edge past Roussel by two shots.

Frenchman Roussel, starting the day four shots behind the champion, shot a course-record nine-under par 63 and had caught up with England’s Marsh with four holes to play.

Marsh, who closed with a 65, was on the 14th hole at that point and unaware of Roussel’s score.

The 24 year old, who was ranked as high as 14 in the World

Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) before turning pro, then made birdies on the 14th, 15th and 18th, but the killer blow was an eagle on the par-fivr 16th. Marsh eventually finished on 18-under par 198, two better than Challenge Tour player Roussel, in the 54-hole tournament that carried a total purse of US$75,000. 

It was Marsh’s second win as a professional, following the Dawson and Sanderson Classic on the EuroPro Tour in 2017, and he was delighted with the way he handled the situation.  “It was fantastic. I just went there with a good mindset and a good

gameplan and stuck to it. I was five-under through the last five holes, which was very pleasing because the wind did get up in the afternoon,” said Marsh.

“I just love this golf course. I need to wrap it up and take it with me everywhere. I think I have some kind of a love affair with it, because I have no idea why I did so well this week on the back nine,” added Marsh

Scotland’s Craig Ross added a 66 to his 65 on Tuesday and joined England’s Max Smith (68) in tied third place at 13-under par, while Australia’s Daniel Gaunt, winner last week in Ajman, was fifth at 204 despite a 69.

In the Amateurs’ category, Dubai-based 14 year old Josh Hill (71) and England’s Curtis Knipes (70) were declared joint winners at seven-under par 209. It was a creditable effort by the two as they finished tied ninth overall.

The fourth leg of the MENA Tour is the Troon Series – Dubai Open, which begins at Dubai Hills Golf Club from March 5.