Ya­coob se­cures spot in NBO Oman Open

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

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

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