AL AIN // Faycal Serghini of Morocco backed up his opening-round 65 with another 65 on Tuesday to stand atop the leaderboard at the Mena Tour Championship, the season-ending event of the Mena Tour.
Serghini is three strokes up on the English duo of Matthew Turner and the amateur James Allan, with Ian Keenan of England, Nicholas Mullhaupt of Switzerland and Michael Harradine four back at eight-under 134.
Serghini started slowly, dropping a shot on his opening hole, but he heated up fast with an eagle on the par-5 sixth thanks to a tremendous five-wood shot that left him 10 feet from the pin.
“I drove well off the tee and my putting was really solid,” said the Moroccan, 38.
“I bogeyed the first, which is an easy hole, but picked up shots on the third and fifth before making that eagle. That little stretch steadied my round.”
Serghini closed with a pair of birdies.
“I look forward to the final round,” said the Casablanca native. “Tomorrow is another day and the thinking is to go out and have fun.”
Allan, 19, enhanced his chances of winning the amateur division with his second round five-under 66 to go along with his opening-round 67, at the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club.
“I managed to hole some good putts,” he said. “I think that contributed to a good round.
Turner was almost flawless in his pursuit of Serghini, striking a bogey-free 66, and Keenan recorded four birdies and an eagle against two bogeys to stay in contention with a 67.
Keenan is third in the Order of Merit behind winner Zane Scotland, who skipped this tournament, and Stephen Dodd.
Dodd is in a group at 15th after a second-round 68.
Mustapha El Maouas, who was the Order of Merit leader on the amateur side, shot a 70 for a two-day total of 142.
The top three professionals and the leading amateur will be invited to compete in the US$2.5 million (Dh9.2m) 2014 Dubai Desert Classic, beginning on January 30.
Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE