Zane Scotland became the first golfer to successfully defend a Mena Tour event title when he birdied the last hole of the Dubai Creek Open on Wednesday.
The Englishman, who began the final round a shot adrift of the lead, went round in 67 to defeat the overnight leader Trevor Marshall by one shot as he finished seven shots under par.
Scotland won the event by two shots 12 months ago, and he was excited to repeat as winner.
“It feels great to defend the title,” he said. “I think I played pretty tidy golf all days. Trevor and Max [Williams, who was third] kept up the pressure most of the day, but I managed to pull it through on a course where I always feel at home.”
Birdies on the third and fourth holes gave Scotland a strong start, but he needed to birdie the final hole to hold off the challenge of Marshall, the New Zealander, who also picked up a shot at the 18th.
The success was Scotland’s fifth on the Tour.
Marshall, who carded 69, tried to take the positives from his ultimately failed challenge for victory.
“I started the day one ahead and finished one back — not bad at all,” he said. “That’s all part of golf. To be honest I have no regret losing to Zane — a classy player.”
The English amateur Williams, who had also been in contention with Marshall to defeat Scotland, dropped a shot at the 18th to finish two shots off the lead.
But he had the consolation of topping his amateur division with sub-par rounds of 70, 70 and 68 for a total of 208, 11 shots ahead of Michael Harradine of Switzerland.
Morocco’s Younes Al Hassani faded out of contention after dropping a shot each on third and fifth before settling for a two-over 73 which saw him finish two over.
“I struck the ball really well and felt good about my overall game,” Al Hassani said. “A top-10 finish in a quality field like this one is certainly a creditable achievement for me.”
The biggest mover yesterday was England’s Jack Harrison, who hit a five-under 66 — the tournament’s best round — after making the turn at six-under. An eagle on the fourth, five birdies and a double bogey (on the 15th) highlighted his round which propelled him to a tied fifth on one-over.
The tour moves to Saudi Arabia next week for the Dirab Golf Championship that starts Monday.