Lee Corfield, having qualified through Jamega to play on The Mena Tour, has finished in the top 3 of their OOM gaining him an incredible start in The Dubai Desert Classic. Write up below courtesy of The MENA Tour.
Lee Corfield birdied the first extra hole in a playoff to win the MENA Golf Tour's season-ending Tour Championship at Al Ainlageri Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club on Wednesday.
A good five shots behind overnight leader Faycal Serghini, Corfield closed with a 67 to reach an 11-under-par total of 202 and that stood up as the Moroccan settled for a one-over 72, resulting in a playoff.
Corfield hit the green in two on the first extra hole, smashing his three-wood from 281 yards to about 20 feet from the pin and calmly two-putted for a birdie while Serghini left his chip from the fairway too short and could manage a par.
The experienced Moroccan, who, at one stage, moved to 14-under, had a chance to settle the issue in regulation, but missed a five-footer for a birdie on the closing hole.
Serghini may have missed out on winning the Tour Championship, but his fellow countryman Mustapha El Maouas did the country proud by winning the Order of Merit title for amateurs, ahead James Allan of England and Michael Harradine of Switzerland.
It was Corfield who made the biggest move to win the title, his second on the tour after the Qatar Classic which he took with an eagle on the closing hole.
"I am over the moon," said delighted Corfield after receiving the winner's trophy from His Highness Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
His Highness Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, Khalfan Al Kaabi, a board member of the federation, Mohamed Juma Bumaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour, and Saeed Al Aryani of Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club were also present.
"You have got to believe in yourself that you can do it," added Corfield, who received a cheque for $13,500, taking his total earnings from the tour to $25,821, finishing third on the Order of Merit for professionals behind England's Zane Scotland ($50,229) and Stephen Dodd of Wales ($32,213).
The top three professionals and the leading amateur will be invited to compete in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic which celebrates its 25th anniversary early next year.
"Even though I was five behind going into the final I never gave up hope," said Corfield. "I have been playing really well and I was never in big trouble during the week which made the task easier," said Corfield.
"The MENA Tour is going to be very big in coming year. The structure is great and organization just fantastic," said Corfield who qualified for the MENA Golf Tour after finishing runner-up on United Kingdom's Jamega Golf Tour Order of Merit.
El Maouas became the second Moroccan after Ahmed Marjan to win the Order of Merit title for amateurs. "I am really pleased with my performance. I am looking forward to playing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which is one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour," he added.
Leading final scores (par-71):
202 – Lee Corfield (England) 65 70 67 (wins in a playoff), Faycal Serghini (Morocco) 65 65 72
203 – Yasin Ali (England) 67 70 66, Matthew Turner (England) 67 66 70
204 - Joshua White (England) 70 68 66, Stephen Dodd (Wales) 71 68 65, Tyler Hogarty (South Africa) 69 67 68,,
205 - Christopher Cannon (England) 68 70 67, Ian Keenan (England) 67 67 71, Nicholas Mullhaupt (Switzerland)
206 - Sergio Gutierrez Sánchez (Spain) 69 69 68, Daniel Wardrop (England) 71 68 67, Trevor Marshall (New Zealand) 69 72 65
207 - Clarke Lutton (Scotland) 73 68 66, Tom Buchanan (Scotland) 69 67 71, Hamza Amin (Pakistan) 71 70 66,
209 – James Housby (England) 69 70 70, Younes El Hassani (Morcco) 69 70 70