x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

This time Zane Scotland holds off Stephen Dodd to take Mena Tour opener in Morocco

Zane Scotland exacts a little revenge on Stephen Dodd, holding off the man who defeated him for the 2012 Mena Tour's Order of Merit by finishing 10 under at the 2013 season opener in Morocco.

Zane Scotland, here in the Mena Tour’s swing through Al Ain, finished 10 under at Morocco.
Zane Scotland, here in the Mena Tour’s swing through Al Ain, finished 10 under at Morocco.

The beginning of the new Mena Tour season feels very reminiscent of the 2012 ending.

Heard a variation of this story line before, have you?

Two veterans who battled for the tour's Order of Merit title last fall were right in the mix in the season opener in Morocco before England's Zane Scotland cruised to a decisive victory with a 4-under 69 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam Open outside Rabat yesterday.

Scotland entered the final round tied with Welshman Stephen Dodd, the player who passed him on the final day of the 2012 season to win the Mena money title.

This time, though, Scotland, a former European Tour member, was not being overrun by anybody.

One of three players in the field to shoot par or better each day, Scotland finished 10 under and won by five strokes over Moroccan favorite Younes El Hassani.

Dodd, who closed with a 3-over 76, finished joint third with Greg Snow and Ian Keenan.

Scotland, 30, was clearly on his game all week, but when he needed it most, he recorded the low round of the day Thursday to nail down the title at the $50,000 (Dh.183,628) tournament.

Playing on a difficult, par-73 venue that once hosted the Hassan II Trophy, Scotland was the only player to shoot two scores in the 60s. To put that in proper context, the rest of the 50-man field combined to break 70 exactly twice.

Despite playing his first tournament round since the Dubai Desert Classic six weeks ago, Scotland opened the 54-hole Mena event with a 6-under 67 to take a five-shot lead, and while Dodd tied him after two rounds, it was effectively a wire-to-wire victory.

The event was the first of the Mena's expanded 11-tournament season and the first staged in Morocco. A second event will be held next week, down the coast in Casablanca. Moroccan amateur Marjane Ahmed finished seventh at 1 under.

 

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