x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Aaron Leitmannstetter leaves Ghala Open pack eating his dust as he claims first Mena Golf Tour title

Aaron Leitmannstetter overhauled a five-shot deficit to capture the Ghala Open in windy and dusty conditions.
Aaron Leitmannstetter, second from right, overhauled a five-shot deficit to capture the Ghala Open in windy and dusty conditions. Courtesy Mena Golf Tour
Aaron Leitmannstetter, second from right, overhauled a five-shot deficit to capture the Ghala Open in windy and dusty conditions. Courtesy Mena Golf Tour

Aaron Leitmannstetter overhauled a five-shot deficit to capture the Ghala Open in windy and dusty conditions for his first victory on the Mena Golf Tour on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old German closed with a superb six-under 66 to reach 10 under for the tournament, one clear of joint overnight leader Ahmed Marjan of Morocco. Sweden’s Fredrik From finished in third a further shot adrift.

Playing in the day’s sixth last group, Leitmannstetter reeled off seven birdies against a lone bogey to leave a strong field trailing in his wake as he became the first German to inscribe his name on a Mena Golf trophy.

See also:

• Ghala Open Round 2: Clinical Ahmed Marjan shoots himself into contention

• European Challenge Tour: Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge ready to make its mark

• In pictures: Golfers mark inaugural RAK 2016 Golf Challenge by hitting balls off Jebel Jais

“It feels amazing to get the job done this time around after finishing second in this very tournament,” said the Dubai-based German after receiving the winner’s trophy.

“It was quite windy out there, I thought a 10 under would be a good target and luckily I managed to achieve that. Very, very happy with my performance during the week.”

Marjan was left ruing shots that got away, especially on the 16th where he was sitting for an eagle, but three putted from 24 feet for par. A birdie on the closing hole could have forced a play-off, but he left it short from 15 feet.

“Yes, I had my chances, but couldn’t take them. Overall, very pleased to finish second,” he said. “It was good week and I can take many positives from this event. Almost every part of my game fell into place, it’s just that I couldn’t get over the line, which is a shame.”

Chile’s Matias Calderon and the English duo of Benjamin David and Todd Clements shared the leading amateur award after the trio finished on matching five-under 211s.

“I really enjoyed playing for the first time on the Mena Golf Tour. The environment is pretty nice and healthy,” said Calderon, who closed with a 70, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5, 13th when he smashed a five-iron from 220 yards to within 20 feet.

“I have learnt a lot playing alongside many experienced players and hope the experience will come in handy when I play the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain next week.”

The Mena Golf Tour will travel to Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club for the season-ending Tour Championship, starting from October 30.

Results:

1. Aaron Leitmannstetter (Germany) 10-under

2. Ahmed Marjan (Morocco) 9-under

3. Fredrik From (Sweden) 8-under

Leading amateur:

Benjamin David (England), Todd Clements (England), Matias Calderon (Chile) – all five-under

Mena division

Leading professional: Ahmed Marjan (Morocco)

Leading amateur: Khaled Attieh (Saudi Arabia)

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport