Morocco defended their Pan Arab Golf Championship crown in great style, winning the 33rd edition of the tournament by 14 shots over Bahrain.
At the Dreamland Golf Resort course near Cairo, Morocco’s win was never in doubt and the gulf in class was very evident as two of their players – the 2011 MENA Golf Tour amateur Order of Merit champion Ahmed Marjan and Mustapha El Maouass – returned the best individual scores in the tournament.
On the final day, Maouass shot an even-par 72 and Marjan a 74 as they tied on top of the individual leaderboard at one-over par 289. Egypt’s Amr Aboul Ela (72) was third at 292, while Qatar’s Saleh Ali El Kaaby was behind at 294.
With three best scores out of four counting on each day, Morocco tallied 872, while Bahrain were second at 886, and Egypt did well to finish third at 296.
The UAE failed to recover from their second-round disaster and finished sixth at 910, eight behind Qatar (902) and six behind Saudi Arabia (904).
But there was a silver lining for the team as young Hassan Al Musharrekh, who shot a brilliant round of one-under par 71 on the opening day, finished second in the individual net category. Despite a gross 81 and net 77 on the second day, the four handicapper did well to finish on five-under par 283 net.
That proved to be two shots adrift of Palestinian Ali Zayed Maanaky, who plays to a handicap of nine.
Bahrain were the only team that could have put some pressure on Morocco, when they started with an advantage of 16 shots. The Bahrainis did outscore the Moroccans – 221 against 223 – but that was never going to be enough.
Conditions were difficult on the final day and none of the players managed to break par. Apart from Maouass and Amr Aboul Ela, only two other players matched par – Bahrain’s Sultan Abdallah Sultan and Qatar’s Saleh Ali El Kaaby.
The UAE put up a much improved performance on the final day, and based on the scores of Hassan (73), Abdulla Al Musharrekh (75) and Khalid Yousuf (79), they totalled 227.