DUBAI // The trend is becoming somewhat obvious.
England’s Zane Scotland won the first Mena Tour event of the season last spring. A week later, he matched the tournament’s lowest score, but lost in a play-off.
Heading into the final round of the third event on the Mena schedule, he is right back in the mix at the Dubai Creek Open after a one-under 70 in the second round.
The season’s Order of Merit leader and the event’s defending champion trails New Zealand’s Trevor Marshall by one stroke heading into today’s final round at Dubai Creek Golf Club.
Marshall, also the first-round leader, bogeyed three of his final five holes on the back nine and finished with a 70, leaving him at four-under overall.
Seeking his first win on the tour, Marshall conceded that he struggled coming down the stretch.
“I finished bogey-par-bogey, which was a bit disappointing,” he said. “But considering the windy conditions, I think it wasn’t a bad day at the office.”
Four strokes separate the top six on the leaderboard. Englishmen Yasin Ali and Max Williams, an amateur, are two shots behind Marshall at two-under.
Morocco’s Younes El Hassani shot his second consecutive even-par 71 and trails by four. El Hassani could have finished in red numbers, but three-putted the 18th for the lone bogey on his card.
“I think I am playing really well and have reason to believe that I can post a strong finish, if not a victory,” he said. “It was pretty tough out there because of strong winds, but I managed to grind out a 71, a decent score which has further added to my confidence.”
El Hassani finished second to Scotland in the tour’s opening event in Rabat, shortly before the tour took a six-month summer hiatus. The cut was made at nine-over 151.
Morocco’s Ahmed Marjan, who topped the amateur division in the first two events in March, missed the cut at 10-over 152.
Mena Tour – Dubai Creek Open
Pos, golfer, score
1 T Marshall, 67-71–138 2 Z Scotland, 69-70–139
3 Yasin Ali, 70-70–140 M Williams-a, 70-70–140
5 I Keenan, 70-71–141 6 Y El Hassani, 71-71–142
7 W Harrold, 74-69–143 J Shepherd, 74-69–143
M Harradine-a, 70-75–145 J Allan-a, 69-76–145
R Riley-a, 74-75–149 J-M Hall-a, 79-71–150 a – Amateur