Yacoob secures spot in NBO Oman Open
Muscat – It was double delight for Bahrain’s Nasser Yacoob as retained the 2018 OHI Oman Amateur Open title at the Ghala Golf Club recently to book a spot in the forthcoming NBO Oman Open, an European Tour event, that makes its debut at Al Mouj Golf Club next month.
Yacoob was forced into a playoff with fellow Bahraini Sultan Abdulla and Max Burrow of Dubai Creek, after they all finished with a joint 150.
With his drive landing just off the fairway, Yacoob chipped over the water on Ghala’s 18th and set himself up for a two-putt finish to win the playoff. Burrow took the runner-up position on countback.
“I am very happy with the result,” said Yacoob. “I’m excited to see the European Tour in Oman, it feels very nice to qualify.”
Lynn Casey from Al Mouj Golf Club claimed the women's title with an impressive 148, beating runner-up Jackie Franssen from Ghala Golf Club by 40 points. Casey, who defended her title for the third year running, finished two shots behind Yacoob.
The three junior’s categories showed an improved standard of golf in the sultanate, with Bahraini players continuing to dominate the competition.
Bahrain’s Ali Salmeen defended the U18 title with a score of 160. Mohammed al Aathem, also from Bahrain, took the U15 crown with a 171.
In the U12 category, which was introduced this year, Oman’s Ayman al Busaidi, a national team player, was the winner with a 97.
Entries close for NBO Oman Open
With the entries closed for the inaugural NBO Oman Open on the European Tour, the list includes a strong field of Ryder Cup stars and Major winners.
The event will take place at Al Mouj Golf from February 15-18.
Al Mouj Golf pro Steven Troup, who coaches the Oman national senior and junior team, is also set for the experience of a lifetime after receiving an invite to join the field.
Yacoob and Troup will rub shoulders with Ryder Cup captains past and present – Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjørn – who will be looking to write another chapter in their illustrious careers with victory at the NBO Oman Open. Paul Lawrie, who like Clarke is a former Open Champion, also joins the field.
European Tour stalwarts Robert Karlsson, Thongchai Jaidee, David Howell and Peter Hanson, who between them have 30 wins on Tour, will be going toe-to-toe with the next generation of Tour stars, which includes Korean stars Jeunghun Wang and Soomin Lee, French duo Alexander Levy and Roman Wattel, Italy’s Renato Paratore, Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard and 2016 Road to Oman gradu- ate Jordan Smith, all of whom have at least one win under their belt on Tour.
Former BMW PGA Champion Matteo Manassero will bring some firepower to Al Mouj Golf along with this year’s BMW SA Open winner Chris Paisley.
France’s Victor Dubuisson and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, two of the heroes of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, will get their first taste of competitive golf in Oman and so too will Indian duo S S P Chawrasia and Shubhankar Sharma, the reigning Indian Open and Joburg Open champions, respectively.
The MENA Tour’s Peter Stojanovski of Australia winner of last year’s Ras Al Khaimah Classic at Tower Links Golf Club also received an invite while the remaining places in the field will be allocated according to the results of the upcoming Maybank Championship and ISPS HANDA World Super Six Perth.
Bahrain’s Nasser Yacoob (left) receives the trophy from H E Dr Mohammed al Rumhy after winning the OHI Oman Amateur Open golf recently
Lynn Casey holds her trophy after winning the women’s title