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Baldwin keeps it simple to win Q School Stage B

February 05, 2019
Job done: The 34 players who secured their Tour cards after Stage B of the Qualifying School, pose for a picture at the end of the round

England’s Matthew Baldwin, keen to regain his card on the European Tour, made all the right moves as he took the medalist honour in Stage B of the MENA Tour by Arena Qualifying School.

At the Greg Norman-designed Ayla Golf Club, the 32-year-old from Southport produced a two-under par 70 round on the final day to finish on 12-under par 204.

Baldwin, who has a full card on the European Challenge Tour, was two better than his compatriot James Allan (71), and three ahead of Scotland’s Conor O’Neil, who shot the day’s best round of six-under par 66.

Thirty-four players, at five-over par or better, secured their playing rights for the 2019 season of the MENA Tour by Arena, with Miguel Angel Jimenez Jr, son of the legendary Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, making it right on the number.

Also securing his card with a round of two-under par 70 was the Dubai-based English amateur Josh Hill. After starting with an 80, Hill was five-under for his final two rounds.

Baldwin started the day at 10-under par, and was a picture of consistency as he finished with three birdies and a solitary bogey.

“It’s been very good three days. The first day was tough and then the weather subsided a bit. I had good fun out there,” said Baldwin.

“I plan to play the first four out of five tournaments, and then we will see how I am placed towards the end of the year. Obviously, I am playing a full season on the Challenge Tour and would like to be on the main Tour.

“I really tried to keep it very simple and tried not to do anything daft. Tee-to-green, I have been solid all three days. Yesterday, I holed a lot of putts, and today I did not.

“I just want to win tournaments. Everything I tee it up, I want to win. That’s my goal in the four tournaments I want to play now on the MENA Tour. Hopefully, they will lead on to something good.”

With the two stages of the 54-hole qualifiers now done, 64 players have earned their cards to become a part of the 10-tournament ‘Journey to Jordan’.

The first tournament of the MENA Tour by Arena will also be played at the Ayla Golf Club from February 8-11.