Local boy Mathiesen claims Qatar Open amateur title
February 17 2019 12:50 AM
Mikkel Mathiesen (centre)
Mikkel Mathiesen (centre) poses with his trophy and Qatar Golf Association general secretary Fahad al-Naimi (left) and board member Mohamed Faisal al-Naimi after winning the Qatar Open Amateur Golf Championship yesterday. PICTURES: Jayaram

The kid who used to play at the Doha Golf Club will return next month to take on the world’s best in Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. Danish boy Mikkel Mathiesen, who has been a junior member at Doha Golf Club (DGC) for the last ten years, clinched a European Tour event berth by winning Qatar Open Amateur Golf Championship yesterday.
The 18-year-old played remarkably well over the last three days and his final round 70 with a birdie and a bogey earned him a seven-shot victory. He aggregated one-under 215, with the next closest player, England’s William Shucksmith, at six-over.
“It’s great. It is a big win for me. To win in Doha in front of my people is indeed a big win,” Mikkel told Gulf Times.
Talking about his last round performance, the rising star said, “I had a two-shot lead to start the day and I did not really give that up. I am happy to win today. The field was very strong this year as 22 professionals were also participating.
“I know so many of these guys; they all are good golfers and to beat them and to come out as winner gives me a lot of confidence before the Qatar Masters,” the Doha College student said.
Mathiesen’s victory means a lot for DGC, where he nurtured his golf skills.
“It is a very big win for our club. Mikkel is our boy… he is one of us. He has won many tournaments at our club. We all are very proud of him,” DGC general manager Gary McGlinchey said.
Mathiesen has recently secured a golf scholarship in the US; he will start at Wright State University in Ohio in September 2019.
In the professional category, it was Poland’s Adrian Meronk who triumphed with a 72 in the final round, taking his aggregate to an eight-under 208. “I played really well from the beginning and today was the toughest day for sure and I tried to stay focused and be patient,” Meronk said.
“I am very excited to play in Qatar Masters. The set up will be different and it will be tougher. It is a big challenge and I think I am ready for it.”
He made his professional debut in 2016 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and finished runner-up in the Pro-Am competition. He and his partner shot an impressive -37 at St. Andrews which left them only one behind the eventual winners. The 24-year-old Meronk earned QR7,000 and will also get to play the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters as a reward for his efforts.
Sweden’s Nicklas Johansson and the Netherlands’ Mike Toorop came second and third to book their Qatar Masters spots. As expected Saleh Ali al-Kaabi and Jaham Jassim al-Kuwari were the best among the Qataris in contention and will get to play in the Masters. Al-Kaabi, who finished second in the 2017, carded 73 his best of the tournament, for a seven-over 223 to finish joint 15th overall, while al-Kuwari was a joint 22nd after a third-round 77 to aggregate 11-over 227.
The third wild card for Qatar Master was been given to Ali al-Shahrani, who missed the tournament as he was under the weather. The prizes were given by Qatar Golf Association general secretary Fahad al-Naimi and board member Mohamed Faisal al-Naimi.

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