Salhab shoots career-best 68 to win SABB Golf Championship
Salhab shoots career-best 68 to win SABB Golf Championship
Salhab, arguably the most talented among twentysomethings in the Saudi talent pool, declined to be selected for the national team due to his college studies, and yet his form suggested what might have been missed from the 21-year-old.
In a near-flawless display, Salhab shot a career-best four-under 68 to win the Best Gross title in the 12th annual SABB Golf Championship at Dirab Golf & Country Club on the outskirts of Riyadh.
“My game it’s working. The ball’s just going in. I’m playing really good. I’m handling it. I’m happy with my golf again. No pressure. I’m just enjoying it,” said Salhab of his prodigious performance in which he missed only one green, thanks to his superb iron play, and three fairways.
While happy with his score Salhab, who won the Round Eight of the Xerox Corporate Golf Challenge 2017 and Marriott Riyadh-Dirab Corporate Golf Tournament to open the 2017-2018 season at Dirab, lamented the six makeable putts that he missed.
Salhab, an engineering student at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, was level par at the turn after a birdie at the ninth to offset his lone bogey at the seventh, the result of an aggressive chip and putt that was off line.
Salhab was putting for eagle on the par-five ninth after his seven-iron approach settled 25 feet from the cup.
Keeping his mistakes to the minimum, Salhab scorched the back nine, birdieing the 13th and three of the last four holes to finish four-under for the tournament.
Salhab, out for nine months to attend to personal issues, birdied all but one of the four par-fives including the 15th that saw another two-putt birdie. On 16th he dumped an eight-iron to 15 feet and made the birdie putt, then on the 17th he converted a five-footer after a good drive and a wedge from 70 yards.
Salhab was dialed in on the day to dominate a full field of 120 players. One of his playing partners, Dan McLaughlin, a two-handicap golfer, came apart apparently undone by the pressure while trying to catch up with Salhab. McLaughlin eventually finished on 91 following back nine of 46.
“I think this is not the best time for me to be with the national team. I’d be happy to play next year,” said Salhab who tipped his hat off to the Saudi team that came sixth in the 37th Pan Arab Amateur Championship that ended on Sunday in Jordan.
“They gave it their best shot but it’s simply not their week,” said Salhab who became club champion with the victory that mirrored a feat he achieved in 2015.
Stealing some of the thunder from Salhab was the Filipino trio of Nick Palce, Alex Arellano and Benjamin Santuyo.
Palce outdid himself as he won Best Net honors on 63 from a gross score of 91 and handicap of eight. Arellano won the Men’s First Division (handicap 0-9) on 70 (77-7) while Santuyo was the Men’s Third Division (19-28) champion on 70 (92-22).
Declan Lee and Russell Hargrove rounded out the first three winners in the First Division on 72 (78-6) and 73 (79-6) respectively. Gil Verano and Azman Mokhtar finished second and third in the Third Division on 71 (90-19) and 73 (95-22).
The Second Division (handicap 10-18) crown went to Waheed Aslam on 68 (84-16) with Majid Soror at second and Tariq Khan at third place via the countback after both players tied on 70.
Paromita Mukherjee, Joaun H. Kim and Chan Hwi Lee were the Ladies Division winners in the competition.
The skill prize for men’s and ladies longest drive went to Bernie Jacques and Chan and closest to the pin to McLaughlin.
SABB Managing Director David Dew handed out prizes to the winners during the prize distribution ceremony. Also present was Dirab Golf Committee Chairman Tariq Javed, golf course owner Khaled Abunayyan and DGC Golf Manager Bouchaib El Jadiani.
Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final
- Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed over Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
- In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.
MOSCOW: Ons Jabeur made history on Friday when she became the first Tunisian woman to reach a WTA final by seeing off Latvian fifth seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed in one hour 37 minutes.
“This is really amazing and I’m really happy. I gave it all today, and it wasn’t easy because she plays really good,” said 24-year-old Jabeur, who unleashed 45 winners on her way to victory.
“Maybe I was too relaxed in the second set. At the end, I stayed calm. It was a little bit frustrating because I missed some easy balls, but I said I was just going to play my game, and if it goes, it goes.”
In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.
“They’re both playing good, so I hope they fight for four hours,” Jabeur had said. “The best win is that there is a Tunisian in the final.”
Jabeur lost her only career meeting against Kasatkina at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“She (Jabeur) plays interesting tennis with plenty of drop shots, often advances to the net,” Kasatkina said.
“Everything is possible in tomorrow’s final and I will just come onto the court and try to play my best.”
In the ATP event, France’s Adrian Mannarino ended Egor Gerasimov’s run beating the Belarus qualifier 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to set up a semifinal with Italy’s Andreas Seppi, who ousted fourth seeded Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia beat last year’s runner-up Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 will face third-seeded compatriot Karen Khachanov, who saw off Mirza Basic of Bosnia 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).