x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Mena Tour: One step at a time for amateur leader Max Williams

The Englishman's is trying to ignore the possibility of winning entry into the Dubai Desert Classic.

Max Williams was the leading amateur at Al Badia.
Max Williams was the leading amateur at Al Badia.

DUBAI // The carrot of a place in the 2013 Dubai Desert Classic is a difficult one to ignore, yet that is exactly what Max Williams, the Mena Tour's leading amateur after five events, plans to do.

The Englishman's timing proved impeccable as he fired a final-round 71 at Al Badia Golf Club to come home four-under par and take tied-10th at the Sheikh Maktoum Dubai Open.

Williams, 21, now heads the amateur Order of Merit with only one event remaining, but he says he will not let nerves at next week's Tour Championship overcome his bid to seal the overall title - and with it that coveted spot in the European Tour event at Emirates Golf Club at the end of January and start of February.

"I now have the lead in the Order of Merit going into the final week, which is where I want to be," Williams said.

"I know what I've got to do in Al Ain and everything else takes care of itself.

"I'll just approach the event exactly the same as every other. I'm pretty good at focusing on the job at hand."

Williams's main threats to the amateur crown are Tyler Hogarty and Michael Harradine.

Hogarty, who led going into this week, struggled to a 10-over par finish, while the Dubai-based Harradine was five strokes better off.

"I'd love to get that Classic place but I'm trying not to think about it too much," Harradine said.

Meanwhile, Saif Thabet, the Emirati, has qualified for the Tour Championship having made the final top 15 in the table.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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