Keyser and Young emerge champions
February 23 2020 01:23 AM
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Qatar Golf Association General Secretary Fahad Nasser al-Naimi (fourth from right) poses with the Qatar Open Championship winners and other officials at the Doha Golf Club yesterday. PICTURES: Jayaram

By Yash Mudgal/Doha

South Africa’s Mathiam Keyser shot a bogey-free 65 to win the pro-category title on the last day of the Qatar Open Golf Championship yesterday. The victory helped him clinch a berth in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters  to be held early next month.
Ireland’s Michael Young emerged as the amateur winner of the championship and also qualified for the prestigious European PGA Tour event next month.
At the Doha Golf Club, Keyser fired six birdies in a row to punch in the second lowest card on the final day of the three-day event, and his seven-under par effort lifted him to an impressive 11-under par 205 overall.
“It is unbelievable,” a beaming Keyser told Gulf Times.
“I was playing good golf for the last couple of months. And at the end of the last year I played in the Desert Classic and made the cut there. So I think I was playing good golf,” the 33-year-old golfer added.
“I am very excited to play in the Qatar Masters.”
Swede’s Niklas Lemke and overnight leader England’s Brandon Robinson Thompson finished the day with three-under 69 and one-over 73, respectively.
Lemke, who earned his European Tour card for 2019 with a sixth place finish at Qualifying School final stage, before repeating the feat by finishing in a tie for the final card the following year, grabbed the second place two shots behind Keyser, and Thomson, who grossed an aggregate of eight-under 208, finished third.
Thomson beat Sweden’s Jens Dentorp by one stroke to clinch the last Qatar Masters qualifying spot.
“It’s usually always just one shot here or there. I’ve missed out on qualifying for web.com in the PGA Tour events by one shots in the past, so I’m just super proud of myself. Me and my caddy are super excited and just very grateful to know that we have qualified for the Qatar Masters,” Thomson said.
This year’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters will be staged at the newly-built the Education City Golf Course (ECGC).
Young was the only amateur to play a below-par round today and his one-under 71 secured him the title. Young had three bogeys and a birdie on the first eight holes. But an eagle on the five-par 639-yard ninth hole helped him wrap up the front nine with a par total. Young dropped another shot but he was able to collect two more birdies later which took his aggregate to three-over par 219. In the process he defeated Doha-based Frenchman Tom Santa by three shots to win the title.
“All in all I am very happy with the win,” Young said.
“Before the final round, I knew the conditions are good. I was aware that I have an opportunity today, but I also knew it will be difficult for me to win, but I ground it out and with the help of others. Tom didn’t have a very good round and in the end it made a very big difference.” Young also sounded optimistic about his chances in the  Qatar Masters next month.
“Now, I am going to play in Qatar Masters and I am ready to take full advantage of playing on the Tour with top class professionals,” he said.
Qatar’s Saleh al-Kaabi and Ali al-Shahrani finished a joint third with Joshua Greer. They had an eight-over 224 total.
While it was the second best finish for the 2017 runner-up Kaabi, it was the best finish for al-Shahrani.
Qatar Golf Association General Secretary Fahad Nasser al-Naimi and QGA Board Member Mohamed Ibrahim al-Mohannadi gave away the prizes.



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