Mena Order of Merit race hots up

The Mena Golf Tour’s Order of Merit race has picked up pace with Zane Scotland moving on top on the standings after his runner-up finish in the Ras Al Khamiah Classic on Wednesday.

The former European Tour player carded a closing 67, the best score on the final day, to end at eight-under-par, four shots behind the winner, Mohammed Munir of Pakistan.

With this second-place finish, which carried a cash prize of $6,000 (Dh 22,000), Scotland has accumulated a total of $ 16, 803 (Dh 61,700) in earnings from the first four events on the second edition of the tour, a good $2,729 (Dh 10,000) ahead of Munir, who earned $9,000 (Dh 33,056) for his wire-to-wire win in Ras Al Khaimah.

England’s Ross McGowan, who featured in the first two events before heading to the US for PGA Tour’s qualifying school, is placed third on $12,028 or Dh 44,180, followed by Pakistan’s Shafiq Masih ($11,044 or Dh40,500) and Wales’ Stephen Dodd ($9,636 or Dh35,400).

With just two events, including the season-ending Tour Championship in Al Ain, remaining to be played, the race to win spots in the 2013 Omega Dubai Desert Classic could well go down to the wire.

The top three professionals and the leading amateur from their respective Orders of Merit will receive special invitations to compete in the longest-running European Tour event in the region. In addition, the top amateur will be awarded with the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation scholarship. The all-expenses-paid scholarship will see the leading amateur return to Dubai for a five-week intensive training stint.

The Order of Merit for amateurs also promises to unfold a close finish with just 12 points separating the top three going into the Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open, the penultimate event on the Tour, starting on Monday.

England’s Tyler Hogarty, who emerged as the Leading Amateur in the Ras Al Khaimah Classic, leads the standings with 102 points, just two ahead of Switzerland’s Michael Harradine and 12 off compatriot Max Williams. The Moroccan

duo of Mustapha El Maouas (78) and Amin El Malki (73) follow the leaders in that order.

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