x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Monaco’s Piaget clinches Oman leg of Mena Tour in play-off

Five shots off the pace overnight, Sandro Piaget bounced back to win in a play-off over Joshua White.

MUSCAT // Monaco’s Sandro Piaget staged a strong comeback to win the Ghala Valley Open in Oman yesterday.

Five shots off the pace overnight, Piaget birdied the second hole of a play-off to beat Joshua White of England after the two players finished regulation at nine-under par.

White, four ahead going into the final round, led the field most of the day, but squandered the advantage on the closing hole when he three-putted for a bogey while Piaget calmly rolled in his birdie putt to extend the play.

Both made par on the first extra hole, before Piaget’s birdie at the second clinched the victory.

“It’s my first time to the Middle East and feels great to win this event which is pretty much my last competitive tournament of this season,” said the 26-year-old Monagasque.

Of his fightback, he said: “I made a good start with an eagle on the third which was followed by a birdie on the next. But I made a clumsy double-bogey on the sixth.

“In fact, I dropped four shots in a four-hole stretch starting from the sixth but finished strongly on the back nine where I made five birdies without dropping a shot.”

A disappointed White said: “I hit a lot of good shots and also bad shots. I will try and not think about the bad ones.”

It was Germany’s Bernhard Neumann who made the biggest move on the final day, firing a course record-matching 65 to jump to third on eight-under 208.

“It was my last competitive round of the year and I wanted to enjoy it thoroughly and I did. I hit 17 greens and that helped,” he said.

Michael Harradine, a Dubai-based Swiss national, and England’s James Allan jointly topped the amateur division on a three-over 219, one shot ahead of Ross Hopwood of England.