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Amateur Williams extends his lead on top to five shots in Ayla

October 01, 2019
Roaring Tiger: Robin 'Tiger' Williams is on the prowl at Ayla Golf Club

AQABA, Jordan (October 1): England’s Robin ‘Tiger’ Williams increased his lead to five shots after Tuesday’s penultimate round of the $100,000 Journey To Jordan-2, the sixth leg of the 2019 season of the MENA Tour by Arena.

Williams, who is ranked 100th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, added a second-round six-under par 66 to his opening-round 68 to reach 10-under par 134 on another windy day at the Greg Norman-designed Ayla Golf Resort.

That took the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup player, who has been named after the 15-time major winner Tiger Woods, five ahead of Australia’s Daniel Gaunt. The England-based professional, winner of the Troon Series – Al Zorah Open earlier this year, shot a three-under par 69 after a 70 on Monday.

Four players were tied for the third place at four-under par 140, including South Africa’s Troon Series Dubai Open presented by Turkish Airlines champion MG Keyser (69), and the England trio Benjamin David (66), Adam Sagar (71) and amateur Curtis Knipes (69).

The 18-year-old Williams, who is making his debut on the MENA Tour, will become only the third amateur to win on the tour after India’s Rayhan Thomas (2016 Dubai Creek Open) and Netherland’s Pierre Junior Verlaar (2017 Royal Golf Mohammedia Open).

On Tuesday, he started with a birdie but quickly gave up that gain on his next hole. Birdies on the fifth and seventh holes saw him make the turn at two-under par. He added four more birdies on the back nine – on the 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th holes – to make the most of good scoring conditions early in the morning.

“Really enjoyed my round today,” said Williams, who qualified for the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School later this month. “The golf course played much easier today with the wind down and I could attack more pins.”

Gaunt, who defeated Keyser and David in a play-off at Al Zorah Open for his first title in over six years, could have finished closer to Williams but for a disappointing closing double bogey on the tough 18th hole of Ayla Golf Club.

Another amateur, England’s Jack Floydd, was in solo seventh place at three-under par.