Doha: Lee Corfield celebrated his 31st birthday in style when he eagled the final hole to win the Mena Golf Tour’s Qatar Classic at Doha Golf Club on Wednesday.
Tied for the lead overnight, the Englishman rolled in the tricky match-winning putt from 26 feet to close with a level-par 72, finishing at five-under 211 for his first title on the tour.
Tournament favourite Stephen Dodd of Wales, Zane Scotland of England and Scotland’s Fraser McKenna were tied for second on three-under, with England’s Daniel Owen taking solo fifth on two-under.
Yakub Hrinda, a ninth grade student at Doha College, turned in a mature performance that belied his 13 years of age when he won the amateur division on level-par 216, one shot ahead of England’s James Allan.
Just when it appeared the tournament was heading for a play-off, Corfied conjured a piece of magic to settle the issue. “I am simply over the moon,” he said after receiving the winner’s trophy and a cheque for $9,000.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better finish. The win is a lovely birthday present,” added Corfied, who qualified for the Mean Tour after finishing runner-up in the UK’s Jamega Golf Tour Order of Merit.
“I didn’t play all that well today, just managed to keep my round going by holing a couple of clutch putts. I had a good opportunity on the final hole and luckily the ball went in for eagle,” he said.
“It’s fun to play on the Mena Tour. They are doing a fantastic job and the tour is growing, which is great.”
Hrinda showed glimpses of his precocious talent when he closed with a two-under 70 to overshadow many experienced played in the amateur division.
Morocco’s Faycal Serghini finished in a tie for 14th on two-over 218, while England’s Asian Tour veteran Yasin Ali settled for tied 11th on level-par 216.
The presentation was made by Mohammad Faisal Al Naimi, executive director of the Qatar Golf Association, and Fahad Nasser Al Naimi, general secretary of the association. Also present were Mohammad Juma Bu Amim, chairman of the Mena Tour, and Chris Myers, General Manager of Doha Golf Club.
Leading scores after the final round (Par-72):
211 – Lee Corfield (England) 70 69 72
213 – Stephen Dodd (Wales) 71 68 74, Fraser McKenna (Scotland) 76 66 71, Zane Scotland (England) 72 68 73
214 – Daniel Owen (England) 70 71 73
215 – Sandro Piaget () 73 73 69
216 – Nicholas Mullhaupt (Switzerland) 74 73 69, Daniel Wardrop (England) 70 73 73, Jonathan Fransson (Sweden)
216 – Jakub Hrinda (Slovakia) 74 72, 70
217 – James Allan (England) 71 75 71
221 – Michael Harradine (Switzerland) 74 77 70