Hinton springs to front at Mena Tour’s Abu Dhabi Open at Yas Links

Craig Hinton finished six-under 66 on Monday to take the lead after the first round of the Abu Dhabi Open at Yas Links.
Craig Hinton. Photo Courtesy / Mena Golf Tour
Craig Hinton. Photo Courtesy / Mena Golf Tour

Craig Hinton built on a strong birdie-eagle start en route to a six-under-par 66 that propelled him to the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the Mena Golf Tour’s Abu Dhabi Open at Yas Links course on Monday.

The Englishman made five birdies and an eagle, with just one bogey, to go into Round 2 with a one-shot lead over Joe Heraty and Kevin Esteve.

“I got off to a solid start and that kind of set the tone for the round,” Hinton said. “Played really good and didn’t miss much out there. The course is playing good and its design is absolutely great. There are plenty of scoring opportunities there if you can keep the ball in play.”

England’s Lee Corfield, a four-time winner on the Mena Tour, and promising Dutch amateur Pierre Junior Verlaar were among those a further shot back on four-under 68.

Morocco’s Younes El Hassani led the Mena professionals with a 71, one clear of UAE’s Ahmed Al Musharrekh while Bahrain’s Sam Hobday led the region’s amateur division after an even-par 72.

“Take that hole away, I think I really played well,” Emirati Al Musharrekh said, referring to a quadruple-bogey on the 12th hole. “I am feeling quite confident about my game, going into the second round. If I can keep the momentum going, I think I stand a good chance posting a nice score.”

Al Musharrekh, angling for his first win on tour, was at one point five-under.

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Published: September 26, 2016 04:00 AM