SALEH Ali Musbah Ali Al Kaabi set the pace at the 56th Bahrain Open golf championship, which got underway at Awali Golf Club yesterday.
Al Kaabi carded a three-under-par 67 to rise to the top of the leaderboard at the end of 18 holes.
The former champion did well in managing the sweeping winds, which continued into the morning from Thursday night, forcing players with early tee-off times to compete with the elements aside from AGC’s challenging sand course.
As the day progressed, however, the winds gradually abated and by mid-afternoon the field of golfers were enjoying glorious weather conditions.
Despite the weather, the competition at the top was immensely tight. Six players were positioned right behind Al Kaabi with identical scores of one-under-par 69. They included Nasser Yaqoob, Sultan Abdulla Al Hakam, Jamie Elson, Othman Al Mulla, AGC championship course record holder Daniel Owen, and defending champion Juan Manuel Fuentes Perez.
Meanwhile, only four shots separated the rest of the top 12.
Today’s tee-off times will begin with the highest scorers from yesterday heading out first, and then the lowest teeing off late in the morning.
Today’s play will be followed by the awarding ceremony at the AGC clubhouse. The champion will receive the Bahrain Open Trophy (to be retained by Awali Golf Club) and a replica of the Trophy to keep.
Prizes will be awarded to the top players with the lowest gross scores. There will also be several other prizes, such as Nett prizes which will be awarded for the lowest Nett score over 36 holes, the lowest Nett score on day one, and the lowest Nett score on day two.