Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh secured the second win of his professional career in sensational style. Marsh played the last five holes in five under par at Ghala Golf Club in Muscat, Oman, to hold off Robin Rousell by two shots to win the MENA Tour by Arena.
Frenchman Roussel, starting the day four shots behind the champion, shot a course-record nine-under par 63 and had caught up with England’s Marsh with four holes to play.
Marsh, playing on a sponsor’s invite, closed with a 65, was on the 14th hole at that point and unaware of Roussel’s score. The 24-year-old, who was ranked as high as 14 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking before turning pro, then made birdies on the 14th, 15th and 18th, but the killer blow was an eagle on the par-5 16th.
Marsh eventually finished on 18-under par 198, two better than Challenge Tour player Roussel, in the 54-hole tournament that carried a total purse of $75,000. He also earned an invitation to the Andalucia – Costa del Sol Match Play in May on the European Challenge Tour.
It was Marsh’s second win as a professional, following the Dawson and Sanderson Classic on the EuroPro Tour in 2017, and he was delighted with the way he handled the situation.
“It was fantastic. I just went there with a good mindset and a good game plan and stuck to it. I was five-under through the last five holes, which was very pleasing because the wind did get up in the afternoon,” said Marsh, who made four birdies in the first 12 holes but also dropped shots on the seventh and 12th holes.
“I had no idea what Robin was doing in front of us. I just thought that I needed to stay ahead of Max and Gaunty (playing partners), who were playing very good golf as well.
“I just love this golf course. I need to wrap it up and take it with me everywhere. I think I have some kind of a love affair with it, because I have no idea why I did so well this week on the back nine,” added Marsh, who was 14-under par for the last nine holes during the week.
The MENA Tour by Arena is returning to the world schedule after a year of restructuring and will feature 10 tournaments in 2019. It will continue to provide Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thus making it another perfect pathway for ambitious young professional to the bigger tours, and for the players from the Middle East region to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.