AQABA (Jordan): David Langley, playing his first tournament on the MENA Tour by Arena, won the $75,000 Journey to Jordan #1, the opening event of the 2020 season, after shooting a six-under par 66 on Wednesday at Ayla Golf Club.
The 25-year-old from Marlow, England, who turned pro late last year, made the turn at three-under par in windy conditions, and repeated that performance on his back nine when the wind dropped. The 66 took him to 11-under par 205, four better than Jordan’s 16-year-old amateur Shergo Al Kurdi (69) and England’s Jamie Rutherford (65) and Tom Sloman (69).
The Swedish duo of Ake Nilsson (68) and Per Langfors (70) were tied fifth at six-under par 210.
Having lost his father less than two months ago, it was an emotional win for the Castle Royle Golf Club member. Langley had started the day one shot ahead of the chasing pack and managed to increase the game with some flawless golf as he made five birdies and an eagle. His only bogey of the day came late on the par-5 13th hole, but he more than made up for that mistake when he holed an exquisite lob wedge shot on the par-5 17th for an eagle.
“I am really shell-shocked. There wasn’t a moment on the golf course when I wasn’t nervous. I handled myself very well and was completely focused on each and every shot, but my mind was all over the place in between the shots,” said Langley.
“I won a couple of small events last year, but really, I haven’t won anything for the past three-and-a-half years (on the American college circuit), even though I felt I have improved a lot as a golfer over that time. This is dedicated to my mum, who has been like a rock even though we have gone through some very tough times as a family over the past two years, and all my coaches.”
It was getting slightly frustrating for Shergo as he missed several birdie opportunities in his first 11 holes. The only gain came on the fifth, and it finally took a bogey on the 11th to wake him up.
The two-time Jordan Open champion then sensationally birdied his next three holes and climbed up fast on the leaderboard.
“A three-under par round is never bad, but it was getting frustrating out there. I must have missed five birdie putts from inside 5-10 feet range. But I just kept patient and my dad did a great job on the bag as he kept motivating me and giving me positive thoughts,” said Shergo.
“I am very proud of what I managed to achieve – runner-up and the best amateur. This is also my best finish on the MENA Tour and this gives me so much confidence for the future. To do it in Jordan and at Ayla Golf Club, who have been so supportive of me, makes this even more special.”
Rutherford, a former European Tour player, rued a four-putt double bogey on the par-3 sixth hole and a three-putt par on the par-5 17th hole.
“I thought I could have a chance if I reached 10-under par, and I definitely played well enough to shoot that number. The sixth hole was very deflating, but I am happy with the way I bounced back,” he said.
Sloman had 20 putts in his first nine but kept patient and made his move on the back with four birdies.