Bailey Gill tops roommate Langley in thrilling finish at Ghala Open

In what is his first year as a professional, England’s Bailey Gill made two stunning birdies from almost impossible positions in his last two holes to beat roommate and Journey to Jordan #1 champion David Langley and win the Ghala Open by one shot.

The 22-year-old from Worksop was one behind leader Craig Ross as he stood the 16th tee and finished with three birdies in a row,  including spectacular chips on holes 17 and 18 to a within tap-in distance and finish on 16-under par.

Langley, who was looking for his second win of the season, was two-over par at the turn but turned it around with a seven-under back nine to finish second on 15-under par.

First Win

Ross, who is still looking for his first win on the MENA Tour, made a superb par save on the 17th, but paid the price for a wayward tee shot on the 18th which led to a double bogey which dropped him down to 12-under par and third place.

India’s Dubai-based amateur Arjun Gupta recorded his best finish on the MENA Tour courtesy of a closing round bogey-free 66. He finished in fourth place on 11-under par, one ahead of England’s Benjamin Jones, who closed with a 66 as well.

Tied Fifth

Jones was tied fifth alongside England’s Alfie Plant (71), Pavan Sagoo (71) and Curtis Knipes (68) and Paul McBride (66) of Ireland.

“This is fantastic. I have been waiting for some time now for this to happen and I am glad I could hang on and win here in Oman,” said Gill.

“Those two were tough shots on the last two holes. I hit a horrible tee shot on the 18th hole and there was a lot of pressure when David holed his putt for a birdie on the last. David really played great despite the poor start he had, especially on that back nine.

“I came here knowing I was playing solid. I have been playing good golf for some time now but I’ve been struggling to get everything together and I am glad that I managed to do it here.”

Eagle

Overnight leader Langley started with a double bogey, but caught fire on the back nine, where he made a 20-footer eagle putt from the fringe on the 10th after nearly driving the green.

“I am gutted, but after that finish, if I had to lose to someone, I’d rather it be Bailey,” said the 25-year-old, who is also playing his first full season as a professional. “I was rooming with him at last week’s event in Cairo and I know how upset he was after the finish there so credit to him for getting it done this week.”

Arjun Gupta in action at Ghala Golf Club.

Gupta, who turns 16 in May, showed once again why he is considered one of the brightest prospects in the region as he notched his first top-five on the MENA Tour and came to within one shot of earning his first-ever Official World Golf Ranking points.

“I am happy with my finish. The whole week my short game and my putting was very good. I could have probably driven the ball a bit better, but I can’t complain after such a finish,” said the Dubai-born Gupta, who is coached by Jamie McConnell at the Claude Harmon Performance Institute.

“I want to win the Amateur Journey to Jordan this year and this is a good step in that direction. I also want to win a tournament on the MENA Tour and this gives me confidence that I am close”

The MENA Tour by Arena next moves to Bahrain for the Royal Golf Club Bahrain Open from February 24-26, the fourth leg of the 2020 season.

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