Ahmed Mohamed Al Zayed won the fourth Annual Bahrain Amateur Open at the Royal Golf Club (RGC) yesterday, beating off a determined challenge by Qatar’s Saleh Al Kaabi, who eventually fell short by only two strokes.
The Bahrain Golf Club’s Al Zayed, who had led Al Kaabi, also by two strokes after the second day of the competition after carding a par-72 to go with his one-under-par 71 in the first round, started the day by increasing his lead to five shots from the front nine.
But Al Kaabi, who plays for the Doha Golf Club, scored three birdies in the first four holes of the back nine to bring Al Zayed’s lead back down to two strokes.
More drama unfolded over the last five holes as Al Zayed, seeking to maintain his lead, scored three bogeys, affording Al Kaabi an opportunity to catch up. But the Qatar player failed to take advantage of the situation and scored three bogeys himself to let Al Zayed off the hook with the Bahraini player continuing his march to victory.
Al Zayed eventually finished with a two-over-par 74 in the final round with a total gross of 217. Al Kaabi also carded a two-over-par 74, ending the tournament with a total gross of 219.
“Congratulations to Ahmed for winning the Open for the second time,” Bahrain Golf Association (BGA) vice president and tournament director, Daij Khalifa told the GDN. “This is the second time he has won the tournament – he triumphed in 2019 also.”
Staging the tournament had achieved a few of the BGA’s objectives, Khalifa added.
“Firstly, it will allow a new Bahraini youth golfer to be included in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR),” he continued.
“Secondly, we saw a number of junior players participating in the championship, both Bahraini and expatriates, who claimed prizes in the Net division.
“Finally, the tournament provided an opportunity for Bahraini golfers to compete on a world-class golf course. The majority do not have the opportunity to participate in such an environment.”
Defending champion, Khalifa Mohamed Al Merisi, who dropped out of the reckoning after a four-over-par showing in the front nine, improved his performance in the back nine by shooting a two-under-par to clinch third place with a 221 gross.
Fahad Al Hakam, with 223, finished in fourth place while Khalifa Al Kaabi, who carded 226, ended up in fifth place.
RGC captain, Ronan Armstrong took the sixth spot with a gross of 227.
“We hope all the competitors had a good three days and hope to see them again for the fifth edition of the event,” tournament coordinator, Sam Hobday told the GDN. “It was a pleasure working with Daij Khalifa and the team at the Bahrain Golf Association and we look forward to running the King Hamad Trophy with them in November.”