x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Top amateur eyes Dubai Desert Classic

Tyler Hogarty will be rewarded with a place next January in the European Tour event at Emirates Golf Club.

Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - October 16, 2012. Tyler Hogarty ( Amateur golfer of England ) one of early leaders yesterday, during the ongoing MENA Golf Tour at the Tower Links Golf Club. ( Jeffrey E Biteng / The National )
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - October 16, 2012. Tyler Hogarty ( Amateur golfer of England ) one of early leaders yesterday, during the ongoing MENA Golf Tour at the Tower Links Golf Club. ( Jeffrey E Biteng / The National )

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Tyler Hogarty says the race for a coveted spot at the 2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic has been whittled down to three amateurs.

The Mena Tour's leading non-professional will be rewarded with a place next January in the European Tour event at Emirates Golf Club, with Hogarty currently heading the chase.

The Englishman battled an eye infection this week to finish as the top amateur – he was tied-26th overall – for the second time in three events, providing him with a two-point lead going into the penultimate test at Al Badia Golf Club in Dubai, which starts on Monday.

Michael Harradine, from Switzerland, and England's Max Williams sit second and third respectively, while Mustapha El Maouas, the Moroccan, is 24 points behind in fourth.

"I'm pleased about the Order of Merit, I'm right where I want to be," Hogarty said following a final round 73 at Tower Links Golf Club that left him one-over par for the week. "It's a three-horse race.

"So next week will be key because either it'll be open or, if I do well, I can take a lot of pressure off myself for the last event [in Al Ain]. There's no outside pressure on me, it's only what I put on myself."

Hogarty has proved the outstanding amateur this season, yet believes he pushed himself too hard on the range in preparation for RAK.

The Classic carrot is a difficult one to forget.

"I've been practising loads and just killed myself in trying to iron out a few swing problems," he said.

"However, I know now even if I have a bad tournament at Al Badia I'll still have a chance. Hopefully I will play well in both.

"I feel like my game's there, I'm confident and the Classic place is such a big prize.

"I'd be delighted if I got that but I'm only nine rounds through 15."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE