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Published on : Monday, November 30, 2015
The Championship Course at Almouj Golf was pushed to its full length of 7310 yards for the third running of the annual Black Tee Challenge. This year the event moved from its previous time slot earlier in the season to take advantage of the preparation work in the run up to the upcoming NBO Golf Classic Grand Final Challenge Tour event.
The field of players included several notable names including the 2013 Black Tee Champion and National Team player Azaan Al Rumhy, the Men’s 2013 and 2014 Almouj Golf Club Champion Tenzin Tsarong, the 2015 Club Champions Alan McInnes and Lynn Casey as well as many other single figure golfers from the Sultanate. Each player was very aware that to earn the title of Black Tee Champion they would have to produce not one but two good rounds of golf over the challenging links layout as the winner would be decided by the best 36 hole Gross total.
Playing in reverse handicap order on Day 1 the conditions were very favourable although the course, as always, was giving little away to the competitors. Setting the early pace in the first two ball of day was 3 handicap Jeff Campbell who covered the outward 9 holes in one over par 37, Jeff’s score at the turn gave him a 9 stroke advantage over his playing partner Azaan Al Ruhmy who rallied well on the back 9 scoring 37 to reduce the deficit to only three strokes after 18 holes with Campbell posting an 80 and Al Ruhmy an 83. Also performing well on the outward 9 were Lynn Casey (+2 handicap) and Tenzin Tsarong who reached the turn in scores of 39 and 38 respectively. Both players struggled a little on the inward 9 holes with Casey eventually signing for an 83 and Tsarong an 80. The most consistent performer on Day 1 was 9 handicap Kevin D’Amours who edged his way onto the leaderboard with an 81 made up of halves of 41 and 40.
Despite being a gross tournament there were daily net prizes on offer too, D’Amours headed the net scores on Day 1 with a fine net 72 closely followed by John Petersen and Roger Beaumont who both carded net 74’s.
With the field reassembled in reverse score order Day 2 began with the players who had found the going toughest on the first day teeing off first. Although there was still very much everything to play for it would be fair to say that the winning player looked likely to come from the final two three balls on the course. As Day 2 unfolded it became clear that this would be the case with most of the players in the middle of the field failing to mount any kind of challenge to trouble the leaders.
The most notable performance on Day 2 came from 8 handicap Nasaruddin Mohammed who despite scoring a disappointing gross 58 on the front 9 found something special on the back 9 to return in an unbeaten level par gross 36. With the stage clear for the leading groups the penultimate group posted the mark to beat with Sachin Bawa and Lynn Casey posting a two round total of 167 and Azaan Al Ruhmy adding an 81 to his Day 1 83 for a total of 164. In the final group the star player from Day 1 Kevin D’Amours struggled somewhat on the second day falling out of the reckoning with a gross 92 which left the duo of Tenzin Tsarong and Jeff Campbell to chase the leading score of 164.
Campbell and Tsarong started the second round tied after matching Day 1 scores of 80, by the turn Tsarong had opened up a two stroke lead by virtue of an opening 9 of 39 to Campbell’s 41 which included a triple bogey 7 at the challenging par 4 9th hole. Campbell recovered well to bring the scores level by the time the players reached the iconic closing hole, after a short but straight tee shot Campbell was forced to take a fairway wood for his lengthy second shot to the par 4 which, with water on the left, understandably went right unfortunately finding one of the large bushes flanking the fairway. Tsarong’s second shot also aired on the side of caution narrowly missing the green on the right side.
With Campbell only able to advance his ball a short distance and then pitch onto the green leaving a two putt double bogey Tsarong had the luxury of a chip and two putts to secure victory by a single stroke over Campbell and be crowned as the Black Tee Champion for 2015.
Tsarong’s winning score of 161 was a stroke lower than the winning score from 2014 Champion Aaron O’Hara and two strokes lower than Azaan Al Ruhmy in 2013.
In addition to the main prizes there were also net and daily prizes on offer. Picking up the Best 36 Hole Net on countback from Roger Beaumont and Kevin D’Amours with a combined score of 155 was Almouj Golf Member Berty Archer, Day 1 Net was won by Roger Beaumont with a net 74 and the Gross by Kevin D’Amours with his fine 81. Day 2 Net was taken by Sachin Bawa with a net 80 and the Gross by 2013 Champion Azaan Al Ruhmy with an 81.
For the third year running the Black Tee Challenge provided an exciting climax going down to the 36th hole and was enjoyed by all, we look forward to Tenzin trying to defend his title next year.
Tags: Almouj Golf