x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Musharrekh blames extra workload for poor form

"There has been a lot of demand placed on me from the media and other commitments, and it took its toll on my golf."

Zane Scotland consolidated his lead to three strokes going into the final day.
Zane Scotland consolidated his lead to three strokes going into the final day.

DUBAI // Zane Scotland tops the leaderboard going into the final round today of the opening Mena Tour event, while Ahmed Al Musharrekh missed the cut at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club Open.

Scotland augmented his fine first-round 65 with a one-under par 70 in blustery conditions, leaving the Englishman three shots ahead of a chasing pack led by Stephen Dodd, a three-time winner on the European Tour.

With the cut at eight-over par, Al Musharrekh posted a four-over 75 to go alongside Monday's 81, registering a 36-hole 156 in his first tournament as a professional.

"I struggled with the pressure this week," the Sharjah-born golfer said.

"There has been a lot of demand placed on me from the media and other commitments, and it took its toll on my golf.

"I have a few days to put it right before next week's event.

"These past couple of days were still a really good learning experience for me."

Al Musharrekh became the first Emirati golfer to turn pro when he revealed his decision two weeks ago.

Dodd fired the best score of the day, the English veteran going out early to secure a 68, matched only by Scotland's Stephen Monro.

It is that sort of form that ensures Scotland will be on his toes today as he looks to add this title to last year's Abi Dhabi Golf Citizen Open crown.

"[Dodd] is an experienced player, but if I continue to do what I am doing, I stand a good chance of winning the event," Scotland said.

"From tee to green, I played as well as I did on Monday, but some good putts refused to drop in. A three-shot lead looks good, but I have still a long way to go. Anything can happen."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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