AL AIN, October 29: Scotland’s Scott Henry is enjoying some serious family time during the Ras Al Khaimah Open by Arena and has climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the process after following his opening-round 65 with a six-under par 66 on Tuesday at Tower Links Golf Club.
The 32-year-old from Clydebank has his brother-in-law Christopher Walker on his bag in the MENA Tour by Arena event and his idea of having fun was to add seven birdies and an eagle to his seven-birdie round yesterday and take a one-shot lead at 13-under par over young Swede Niclas Weiland (67) and overnight leader Marco Iten (68) of Switzerland.
England’s Kyson Lloyd (65) was in solo fourth place at 11-under par 133, while Australia’s Daniel Gaunt (68), trying to chase South Africa’s MG Keyser in the Journey To Jordan, moved to tied fifth place at nine-under par 135 alongside Sweden’s Gabriel Axell (68).
Henry, winner of the 2012 Kazakhstan Open on the European Challenge Tour, showed his class with a superb display from tee to green, especially on the front nine, that included an eagle on the seventh.
“I was five-under par through seven holes and I think it was the best I could have ever played tee-to-green. The back nine was a bit up and down and I played some scrappy shots coming in. But a birdie on the last was a good way to finish and I am looking forward to the challenge tomorrow,” he said.
“I have my brother-in-law on my bag this week and we had great fun on the course. He caddies for my wife (Kylie) on the Ladies European Tour, so he knows his business and he helped me enjoy my round.
“It doesn’t matter whether I am in the lead because I will have to go and play some aggressive golf and shoot some low number tomorrow. There are a lot of birdies on this golf course, so the only way I can protect my lead is if I make a few myself and stay ahead.”
His playing partner Weiland had an equally good start and was also five-under par through seven, but could not keep pace with Henry on the back nine.
Even though four shots worse than his opening round 64, Iten was happy with his 68.
“The only disappointment was a bogey on the 17th when I really wanted a birdie there and the last. At least I got one on the 18th. I am playing good golf, so let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings,” he said.
Sweden’s Erik Lindwall made a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth hole, hitting a perfect six-iron shot from 214 yards. That helped him finish the round on four-under par 68.
The cut was applied at even-par 144 and 48 professionals and nine amateurs made it to the final round on Wednesday. Among those going through was Othman Almullah (70), the first professional golfer from Saudi Arabia, who birdied his final three holes in fading light to finish on even-par 144.